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The Atheneeum of 6th December 1902 : 

" It is hardly too much to say that Mr Dawson's latest story does for the 
Moors what Morier's Hajji Baba did for the Persians. At anyrate we find 
here what few books in the world, and certainly no other work of fiction in 
English, can boast of a deep and accurate knowledge of Moorish life, 
manners, and ways of thinking. . . . Such intimate knowledge is rarely 
combined with the skill to impart and the imagination to vivify it. Mr 
Dawson has both. . . . Indeed the Oriental atmosphere is rendered so 
admirably that future translators of the Arabian Nights could scarcely 
choose a better model." 


















K.C.B.,K.C.I.E., C.M.G., 











B'fsM ILLAH ! .... i 








BELOW THE SALT . . . . 113 














; THE PRESENT SITUATION, . . . . . -317 




The Sultan of Morocco, Moulai Abd el Aziz IV. . Frontispiece 

Within a Few Hours' Journey of Gibraltar Tangier 

from the Bay . . . To face page n 

The Main Street of Tangier 39 

The Entrance to a Palace Garden in Marrakish . 68 

At the City Gates Marrakish . . . 81 

Where the Basha of Tangier holds his Court . 103 

The Moorish Soldier from Life : an Elderly but 

Average Specimen . . ,,132 

The Moorish Soldier as Depicted by an Artist 

of the Nazarenes . ,,132 

Wayside Entertainers in Morocco A Very Old 

Hand at the Gimbri . . . 161 

Food ... 195 

Prayer . . 195 

A Fountain near " That Far-off Court " at Marrakish 207 

Town-gate Idlers Al Ksar el Kebeer , . 226 

The White Roofs of the First and Last Town seen 

by the Visitor to Morocco Tangier . . ,, 250 

Kaid Meheddi el Mennebhi ex-Minister of War 

and Favourite Wazeer . . . ,,299 

The Rogui's Letter . . . . ,,314 

The Author in Moorish Guise 350 



ONE has read of an age of exquisites ; it is not 
the age we live in. Ours is the day of the 
specialist. Less pleasing, you say? And that is 
quite possible. More widely informed, however, one 
may suppose, if not more really understanding. One 
thing your exquisites and specialists seem to have in 
common. It is a good thing, but, like every other 
flower in the garden of our life, it is not without its 
own peculiar thorns. They are all for form and detail, 
these tremendously able fellows, and, peering so far 
beneath the surface in their own especial claims, they 
are apt to miss the general contour of hill and 
valley round and about them. The painting is a big 
affair, but, by your leave, the picture is a bigger. 
"Workmanship, give us perfect workmanship on 
perfectly prepared backgrounds, and hang the 
ensemble / " Your specialist is rather apt to get like 
that. Which is really a pity, for, as we ignorant 
outsiders would point out, the finished presentment is, 
after all, the end and aim of even the most perfect 
craftsmanship. The experts forget that, and are given 
to sniffing if reminded by the contemplative Philistine. 
One of the results is that many authors can take no 
pleasure in the printed page, few painters can be happy 
in a picture-gallery, and the majority of musicians avoid 
concerts as they would the plague or a barrel-organ. 


Scientific exactitude is a fine thing, in science. But 
depend on it, Mr Gradgrind missed the choicest 
flavours, the richest morsels in life's feast. 

Moghreb al-Acksa, the country we call Morocco, 
is a land of phantasy which has eluded the all- 
apportioning specialist as successfully as it has evaded 
the outstretched, forthright hand of European civilisa- 
tion, the coaxing digits of Exeter Hall, the solemn, 
record-gleaning studies of tape and camera-armed 
would-be historians, and the levelling, empire-building 
tactics of Christian statesmen. 

The Richard Burtons of this life are not numerous ; 
they scarcely belong to an age of specialists. Mr 
Cunninghame Graham deserves well of his readers, 
by token that he has been too wise to attempt scientific 
exploitation, or historical portrayal, of Sunset Land, 
and too keen of vision to miss its essential beauty. 
Another modern writer has made the attempt, and 
England is in his debt for a prodigious, a really wonder- 
ful budget of very useful facts and figures in connection 
with the Land of the Moors. But for flesh and blood 
pictures thereof eheu ! As well might one delve in 
Buckle's Civilization for the spirit and essence of the 
Arthurian legends. 

To be sure, the much-besmirched artist tempera- 
ment is, one must suppose, an essential qualification 
for the right presentation of pictures, in prose or 
poetry, music or painting, and lacking it no armament 
of knowledge, however elaborate, will serve. But 
even granted the requisite gift of artistry, there is 
danger in the specialising tendency and a certain 
barrenness which comes with the prolonged pursuit 
of exactitude and laboriously-finished completeness. 
Compare Browning's Englishman in Italy with his 


Italian in England. Both are good, but when 
compared, how generously vivid and instantly pictorial 
is the first, and how palely inadequate the second ! 
Certain kinds of knowledge do positively hamper 
artistic intuition, and for a mental view of some 
beautiful foreign place which I desired to possess and 
carry in my heart to look at during foggy afternoons 
in London a picture, in fine I would go, from 
choice, to a man of art fresh from spending his first 
week in that particular spot. For commercial intelli- 
gence there are the consular reports. Baedeker and 
Whittaker, each in his walk, is admirably useful. For 
historical records and exact information turn we to 
the historians, and, if possible, to those among them 
who lived in the place of which they wrote. For my 
picture, my live, warm picture, give me a quiet half- 
hour with that man of art (painter and writer both, if 
I am to be given perfection) whose mind still tingles 
and glows from the vividness of its first fleeting im- 
pact with its subject. When he has spent years in 
the land, and become an authority, he is above 
noticing the tints I want preserved ; he knows too 
much of the internal complexities to condescend to 
the drawing of the very outlines my mind's eye 
demands. And if the foreign place be any such weird, 
elusive and mysterious land as Morocco, then I know 
he will present me with an admirable sketch of its 
rugged body corporate, and leave me entirely lack- 
ing where its strange spirit and essence, the cloudy 
fascination that is Morocco, is concerned. 

Oh, those first impressions, their heart-throbbing 
intensity, their wet-eyed distinctness ; never to be 
forgotten, rarely recorded, yet more rarely actually 
conveyed to others ! It is grievous that man, bustling 


on in the vulgar race for facts classified bones 
should brush aside, lose and ignore the living beauty 
of these early visions which, in the dazzling actuality 
of their colouring, the outstanding vividness of their 
lines, partake of the supernatural, of something per- 
taining to a Fourth Dimension. 

But there are commonplace books, you say. Yes. 
But do those who fill them see visions ? Or are the 
impressions, thus neatly stored and laid away, for the 
most part like their pigeon-hole, commonplace? 
B'ism Illah! 

And I who write these lines am forced to 
admit here that I have read some books which 
purported to deal with Morocco and were written 
soon enough in all conscience after the author's 
first glimpses of the country, from hotel windows 
and the like. And they were wildly bad, those 
books, madly, stupidly and everything else short 
of humorously bad, for the reason that they con- 
veyed nothing ; certainly not atmosphere, assuredly 
not facts. I hold no brief for ignorance, God wot 
(unless it be my own), but I will say that it was not 
alone the writers' ignorance of their subject that made 
these books worthless ; it was not that they had not 
seen enough of Morocco ; it was that they had seen 
nothing, and never would, lacking, it seemed, the 
vision that shows men life with sufficient vividness to 
enable them to convey the same upon the written 
page. There was another book the most vivid it 
may be that ever had Morocco for its subject a book 
that truly gave one the hot, mysterious atmosphere of 
the country, and that book did but tell the story of 
a failure, of an unsuccessfully-attempted journey of 
not the slightest importance. In the letter it was 


sufficiently inaccurate in places, for its writer was no 
old traveller or established authority on Morocco ; 
but as I live that book contained more of the essential 
spirit of Sunset Land than do the score of standard 
tomes on the subject which face me as I write. It 
was called, as Moors call the country, Moghreb al- 

Sensible traders, however, do not decry their own 
wares, but rather extol these, belittling only the 
oddments which they are unable to stock. First 
impressions are as flashingly elusive as summer 
lightning. Men and women of to-day are mostly 
sensible traders. 

" Rafael made a century of sonnets. 

You and I would rather read that volume 

(Taken to his beating bosom by it), 
Lean and list the bosom-beats of Rafael, 
Would we not ? than wonder at Madonnas. 

Dante once prepared to paint an angel : 
Whom to please? You whisper 'Beatrice.' 

You and I would rather see that angel, 
Painted by the tenderness of Dante, 
Would we not ? than read a fresh Inferno" 

Asked to give a name to that characteristic of 
Morocco which most clearly distinguishes it from 
other semi-savage lands, a well-known traveller, quite 
fairly, if uninformingly, replied, " Its distinctiveness." 
Its inherent impressionistic force does distinguish the 
Land of the Afternoon. Its power of vividly and 
instantly impressing its image upon a receptive and 
understanding mind is very remarkable. The 
Eastern traveller would be apt to curl his travelled 
lip if he heard a man speak of the Eastern picturesque- 


ness of Morocco. He would be wrong. There again, 
a man would have been misled by the too eager 
pursuit of special knowledge. There is as much of 
the storied East in Morocco of to-day as you shall 
find in the whole of British India. There is more, 
far more, that is essentially Oriental about country 
life and travel in the foot-hills of the Atlas than the 
inquiring globe-trotter will ever discover between 
Point de Galle and Kandahar. 

That is it. In Morocco there is very much of the 
essential, the undisturbed fibre, the uninfluenced 
spirit of place and of people. It is Moghreb al- 
Acksa, the extreme north-west ; it is nearer to Pall 
Mall than is any other point in the Orient. And it 
is farther, ay, immeasurably farther, in every other 
sense of the word than the geographical specialist's, 
as any man who knows both India and Pall Mall 
may be made to feel by journeying due south from 
his hotel in Gibraltar for, say, one week. 

And this distinguishing feature of Morocco, whilst 
sufficiently remarkable, is not so surprising as at 
first blush it may appear. 

A thousand years before Christ, Hanno graved 
upon a stone, in the temple of Saturn at Carthage, 
some account of his adventure to the beyond-land, 
past the Pillars of Hercules, with sixty galleys of 
fifty oars each. The records of the twentieth century 
after Christ contain no suggestion that any change 
has crept over the province of Sus or the manner of 
those that dwell therein since Hanno's venturesome 
outsetting. A thousand years after Hanno's voyage 
Procopius Csesarea wrote that two white pillars of 
stone stood beside a spring near Tangier, and that 
upon them he read inscribed, in Phoenician script, 


these words : " We have fled before the face of 
Joshua the robber, son of Nun." Within twenty years 
of Annus Hegirae the Arabs, pouring through the 
Nile delta like ants, had reached the extreme north- 
west. There they were held awhile in check by the 
original occupants, the present people of the hills, 
who then were bitterly and savagely resenting the 
proximity of Roman influence, as the other day 
they were resenting the intrusion of Major Spillbury 
of the Globe Venture Syndicate. But the Arabs 
brought craft to bear upon the hardy, irreconcilable 
Berbers. It was not, "We desire your lands for 
ourselves," but rather, " Permit us to assist you in 
removing the accursed infidel from your neigh- 
bourhood ! " 

Directed by Arab skill, Berber strength did snap 
the Roman yoke ; only to discover, within a score of 
years, that the existence of the Berbers as an inde- 
pendent nation was gone for ever. As a nation. 
But to this day they have preserved themselves, their 
mountain homes, their language, their hardy customs 
and savage methods, absolutely and entirely intact, 
as any Christian (who rates his life lightly) may 
discover for himself by stepping across their frontiers 
say a fortnight's journey from London. 

For thirteen hundred years, then, the descendants 
of Mohammed's followers, ruled always (nominally 
if not actually) by Shareefs, whose sway over their 
subjects has rested solely upon their assumed descent 
from members of the Prophet's family, have occupied 
Morocco, or Mauretania, as its Roman invaders named 
it. Its history has been a chequered one, blood- 
stained for the most part, barbarous always, accord- 
ing to Christian standards, and distinguished by an 


invincible conservatism. By force of Berber endur- 
ance and Arab craft and daring, the Moors conquered 
and occupied Spain, and terrorised Europe right 
down to the beginning of the nineteenth century, at 
which late day tributes reached Moorish coffers each 
year from all the principal European centres, by way 
of bribes to ensure against piracy and the capture and 
enslavement of European travellers and sailors. 
During the past century the decadence of the Moorish 
nation and people has been undeviating and all- 
embracing. And now the day of Morocco's final 
disintegration is undoubtedly at hand ; she has truly 
earned her pathetic name of Sunset Land. Across 
her south-eastern boundary the perfectly-equipped 
armies of a great European power lie waiting 
(occasionally urging) the fall of the over-ripe fruit. 
Germany has made every preparation to reap com- 
mercial benefit by this last act of an Empire. Britain, 
once the holder of the most valuable strategic vantage 
point in Morocco, if not in the whole of North Africa, 
exhibits all the signs of truly British aloofness, or 
indifference ; whilst it must be admitted her hands 
are very fully occupied in other parts of Africa and 
elsewhere. The end is near. It may be next year, 
or it may be next decade ; but the end is near, and 
the Sick Man of Africa will never rise from the 
couch of his decline. 

So much for the political maze, the seductive 
quagmire of prophecy. Remains the fact that, up to 
the present, the realm of which Abd el Aziz IV., by 
Allah's mercy, is the ceremonial head, the infinitely 
bewildered sovereign, continues the only independent 
and unexploited state in the whole of Northern 
Africa. Curiously, it is also the only portion of the 


continent that is within range of the naked eye from 
Europe, and practically within modern big gun range. 
Traces of its influence are writ large over southern 
Europe. Itself remains most singularly impervious to 
any sort of outside influence. Its life to-day, within 
a few hours' journey of British Gibraltar, with its 
parochialism and its twentieth-century scientific 
appliances, is an exact replica of the life of which one 
reads in Genesis. Historians aver that the Berbers 
are the descendants of those who gave place to the 
children of Israel in Canaan. Granting this, and that 
Scripture presents a faithful picture of the lives and 
customs of those Canaanites, it is not less than 
marvellous that one should be able to see that picture, 
unchanged and in the living, within a few miles of 
Europe, and in the twentieth century. 

It is this marvel, principally, and kindred features 
of Morocco's sphinx-like face, which give it its 
distinction among Oriental countries ; its wonderful 
impressiveness, its instant power to burn an indelible 
picture into the mind of an open-eyed traveller, subtly, 
with a force and power of fascination which may not 
be denied. 

" Quite vulgar souls are made to feel it," said a 
Morocco traveller to the present writer last year. 
" It bewilders them. They don't understand, of 
course, but m'sha Allah ! they come back to it as 
certain sure as dates have stones. Did you hear of 
the beginning of things here with Phillip Frobisher, 
the Manchester man? Not that he was a vulgar 
soul. But his soul had mostly lived in a rather vulgar 
sort of body." 

I had not heard, so I said nothing, but listened, for 
j my informant was a man to be listened to where Al 


Moghreb is concerned. No rule of record " authority " 
he, but a man who has sought the strange, savage 
spirit of the land, and wooed Morocco in her most 
hidden places. So, too, I give the story here for 
what it is worth, by way of illustration, and without 
any pretence at apology. What can't be endured 
must be skipped, say the cynical specialists of 


AT the time of the story Phillip Frobisher had 
just ceased to be "young Mr Phillip," or 
" Phillip Frobisher, Junior," and had attained the solid 
dignity of " Mr Phillip Frobisher of Messrs Frobisher 
Bros.," the well-known Manchester spinning firm. His 
Spanish-born mother, a landscape painter whose work 
had brought her credit in Paris and London, he had lost 
during childhood. The grave, shrewd, self-contained 
father, whose recent death had made of Phillip a full 
partner in the business, had systematically and con- 
sistently schooled his only son in the traditions of the 
" house." Phillip Frobisher had been brought up 
not so much as an independent human entity as 
a future partner in Frobisher Bros. The other 
two members of the firm were slightly reduced re- 
productions, rather paler in tone than the original, of 
Phillip's father. 

Phillip was a tall, personable fellow, grave like 
his father, rather less shrewd and more sanguine, 
darker of skin, and more smooth and fleshy in outline, 
but otherwise the same solid, steady-gaited, level- 
headed sort of person. Any display of emotion had 
been impossible in the presence of the father. Phillip 
had grown up without inclination toward this or any 
other sort of display. The traditions of the house did 
not demand such things. They demanded calm, 
grave, courteous concentration during business hours, 



and sober, decent restfulness, with study of the 
Economist, at other seasons. Lunching or dining 
with a member of the firm was not an undertaking to 
enter upon carelessly, or with a mind frivolously 
unprepared. You might be sure of excellent food 
and sound wines ; but the whole thing was rather 
suggestive of a Cabinet Council or a whist-party of 
early Victorian days. And now, at twenty-eight, 
prosperous Phillip Frobisher had no conception of 
any less solid, four-square attitude in life than this. 

The death of his father, after three weeks of 
uneventful illness, rather disturbed the young man. 
It was an out-of-the-ordinary sort of happening to 
which routine arrangements did not apply. Phillip 
found concentration of his thoughts at the office a 
matter less simple and natural than usual. He even 
dreamed of a night more than once, and each time of 
the dark-faced, alert-looking mother, whose portrait, 
showing her at work before an easel, faced his father's 
in the vandyke-brown dining-room of their sub- 
stantial Manchester home. 

"The boy had better take a change," said 
Thomas to Samuel Frobisher, as one might recom- 
mend a dose of Gregory's powder for a child. 
" Why not let him arrange this transfer of agents 
in Morocco for us? A fortnight in Tangier and a 
fortnight's travelling would set him up." 

So it was decided, with grave thought for the 
young man's physical welfare and an eye to the firm's 
interests. And as to Kismet (Destiny, Fate, or 
what do you call it ? ), Frobisher Brothers were far 
too business-like to waste consideration upon such 
intangibilities. And so Phillip Frobisher, wearing 
the tall hat and frock coat of his daily life, started 


from Liverpool aboard a Papayanni boat bound for 
Tangier, and his Uncle Samuel, much preoccupied 
with a sleek note-book and final instructions, was 
there to bid his nephew bon voyage. 

Now, as Kismet, or what you may call it, decided, 
the Papayanni boat called at Cadiz on her way out, 
and, in order that engineers might doctor some small 
flaw in her machinery, remained there for three days. 
Phillip Frobisher left her side in a boat manned by 
swarthy, swearing, laughing rascals, natives of the 
port, and proceeded, clad in sober morning coat and 
bowler hat, to present a letter of recommendation to 
a distant connection of his own on his mother's side 
of the family. It was intended that he should have 
made a week-end trip from Tangier for this purpose, 
but the gods who direct the affairs of Manchester 
business gentlemen, advised possibly by those of the 
scented South, disposed matters otherwise. The 
Southern gods are incorrigibly romantic and 
dramatic theatrical if you will. Their climate 
justifies, nay, demands, a certain measure of what 
Northerners might call gaudiness. Phillip landed 
then at one of the wickedest ports in Spain. 

The Custom-house officials annoyed the Man- 
chester man a good deal. Their attitude toward 
porters and passengers struck him as undignified, 
unbusiness-like, almost indecent. From shrill vi- 
tuperation and pictorial blasphemy to exaggerated 
bows, suave phrases and hat raising and back 
again within a few minutes ; this sort of thing 
embarrassed Mr Frobisher, and left him uncertain as 
to whether mutely raising two stiff fingers to the brim 
of one's bowler hat were not too effusive a response 
to the bare-headed, hand-upon-heart, low bow of 


an ornately gilded, white-gloved superintendent. 
" They are wanting in method and in sense of pro- 
portion," he thought, as he named his destination, 
with laborious incorrectness, to a be-sashed and be- 
scarred pirate, who drove a typical bull-ring nag 
in a carriage which apparently was held together by 
fragments of palmetto cord and sardine boxes. 

The Englishman's Spanish relative was not in 
Cadiz, but that worthy's twenty-year-old son was; 
as dapper and world-worn a personification of latter- 
day Spanish decadence as a man might wish to see. 
Juan Guiterrez was the young man's name, his 
manners were delightful, his English fair, and his 
inmost feeling toward Phillip Frobisher that of an 
elderly and blase satyr good-humouredly bent upon 
hospitality toward some innocent lout of a school- 
boy. His own idea of his attitude was that it was 
that of an accomplished man of the world, a gallant, 
bound by courtesy to the initiation and entertain- 
ment of a singularly gauche and woolly Boeotian. 
Frobisher's view of Guiterrez, on the other hand, 
was that the young gentleman was a graceful and 
plausible youth, well-intentioned but unnecessarily 
deferential, and too showily attired. From stand- 
points so antithetical to our own do others see 
us. As a fact, Juan was not at all a bad fellow 
as young men go. But his workaday code of 
morality, had he given it words, would have rendered 
any respectable Briton speechless from excess of 
horror, by reason that it was a little less restrained 
than the code the Briton keeps for actual use, and a 
violent outrage upon that which we preserve as an 
ornament and for the judging of our neighbours. 

But, judged by any standards you choose, Cadiz 


is rather a wicked city, and not over-picturesque, 
when you compare it with other Spanish towns of 
similar importance. That, however, was the very 
thing that our Manchester man could not manage. 
He could not compare, and so his picture lacked 

After dinner, Guiterrez steered his guest among 
the cafes, places of casual entertainment, in which 
the very air was heady and redolent of the full- 
bodied wines of Andalusia and of picadura smoke, and 
alive with sibilant sounds of gossip in a musical 
tongue. They supped gaily, though frugally, in one 
among a score of brightly-painted cubicles, at a vault- 
like restaurant, walled in by generous barrels of wine. 
And, after the meal, a word from world -worn 
Guiterrez brought a nut-coloured lady of the 
establishment, who for the delectation of the pair 
danced three separate measures upon the little table 
at which they sat. Frobisher maintained his gravity 
and his reserve until the lady flung him her over- 
scented handkerchief, with an ogle pronounced 
enough to have moved mountains. Then he lost 
both, remembered the traditions of the Manchester 
house, and insisted upon a swift, undignified adjourn- 
ment. Guiterrez shrugged his^ graceful shoulders, 
that in the senorita's eyes he might be disassociated 
from his crude companion, and shortly afterwards 
they parted for the night. 

Despite much bewilderment and a good deal of 
such small embarrassment as that described, Phillip 
Frobisher was enjoying himself, unaccountably. 
The last word represents his own view of his enjoy- 
ment. A daylight visit, picnic fashion, to a vinedo 
upon the Jerez road, that was owned by a member 


of the Guiterrez family, was endured by Juan some- 
what more gracefully than a 'Varsity undergraduate 
might suffer a Methodist tea-meeting, and was unre- 
servedly enjoyed by Frobisher. Withal it was by 
way of being a revelation to him a revelation which 
did not jar. 

It may be that his three days in Spain planted no 
new growth in the mind of Phillip Frobisher. It is a 
fact that the experience, as it were, ploughed and 
harrowed the fallow mind of the Manchester man, leav- 
ing it porous, and open to the seed of impressionism as 
it had never been before. It did not furnish him with 
new desires and a fresh outlook upon life, but it stirred 
into sentient being all kinds of rudimentary unsus- 
pected attributes of his nature, and stretched and 
loosened into pliancy the trim and rigid loopholes of 
his schooled vision. He heard his dead artist 
mother lovingly spoken of by these her warm- 
blooded compatriots. Somewhere in the red centre 
of his calmly pulsing veins the blood of the mother 
that bore him may have stirred faintly. He was an 
open-eyed, almost impressionable, man of business 
who landed in Tangier a few days later from the 
Papayanni boat. 

But in Tangier business awaited the man from 
Manchester, and, his traditions rallying about him, he 
concentrated his mind exclusively upon that business 
until it was finished. A holiday task it was the 
partners had chosen for him, and thirty-six hours 
after landing Phillip Frobisher signed the necessary 
papers, made the necessary terse, grave report for 
Manchester, posted it, and turned about to open his 
new-ploughed mind to Tangier to Morocco he 
would have said, unaware as yet that Christian- 


ridden, infidel-polluted Tangier, biblically Eastern as is 
its every aspect, is yet one of the few spots in Sunset 
Land which to the end of the chapter must remain 
anathema to every true Moor. 

Exactly what curious process then set to work in 
the mind and heart of Phillip Frobisher must needs 
remain a secret between the man and whatever god 
or gods became his. Possibly the said god or gods 
alone know. The rest of us can no more than follow 
the outward and visible signs, drawing therefrom 
whatsoever conclusions our particular gods may incline 
us to. I am going to tell you simply what Phillip 
Frobisher told my friend, upon a certain moonlight 
night, sitting beside a tent's mouth near a village 
called El Mousa, in the Gharb, just seven months 
after he landed in Morocco. He was squatting on a 
mattress at the time. His beard was six inches long, 
his head shaven, his skin tanned to a rich saddle- 
brown, and his dress, to the very drawers, kaftan, 
yellow riding-boots, and white Wazanni djellab, that 
of a Moor of the richer sort. Upon his right lounged 
Yusef Seydic, the Syrian who lived with him, at first 
(as interpreter, and then as his instructor in Arabic. 
On his left was Hamadi ben Ibn, the Ribati Moor, 
who, with his smattering of English and Spanish, 
had accompanied the Manchester man upon his first 
journey in Morocco. Near by the mules and horses 
were tethered, contentedly munching their barley. 
Upon a great brass tray between them a German- 
silver teapot sprouted green mint. Each man held 
before him his little glass of syrupy green tea. Hadj 
Mohammed Drawi, who was superintending the build- 
ing of Frobisher's white house near Arzila, sat a little 
;|removed from the rest, fingering a rosary. 


" Why did I remain?" said Frobisher, reflectively 
chewing the words of the question he repeated, and 
gazing dreamily out past the questioner into the 
violet heart of the valley, where a little stream, in- 
visible in this twilight hour, murmured and gurgled 
over the flat stones on its way down from the springs 
among the olive hills. " What drew me, you say ? 
But is not that to ask a mere man to explain the in- 
wardness of the workings of Allah the One ? " 

" Ah ! So you were drawn as far as Mohammed- 
anism too, were you ? " 

" I have not said that." 

a No ; you must forgive me. But I wish you could 
tell me of the beginning ; how it came about, your 
cutting the old life so entirely for one you had never 
known before." 

"My friend, I fear I cannot explain. But from 
this distance it does appear to me that I cut the old 
lifelessness for new life, which one must know for life 
at a glance ; instead of, as you say, cutting the old 
life for one I did not know. As for what wakened 
me, as I said, that is the sort of question which a 
man may not answer from his own knowledge. The 
Manchester business man you knew did not inherit 
the bat-eyed sordidness you found him wrapped in 
from both parents. Spanish blood came to me from 
my mother, who was an artist. She must have seen 
things themselves and not merely the market value 
of things. Some gift of hers to me, long neglected,, 
may have brightened into consciousness under these 
warm skies. ' Whose hand shall measure God's 
span?' You know the Moorish saying. But it wad 
wonderful, wonderful in one day ! " 

And now there were stories and to spare in the 


man's eyes as he gazed in silence out into the evening 
haze of the valley below ; stories and to spare, for 
who could read them. 

" On the morning of the Qth October," he began, 
speaking in as low and expressionless a voice as that 
affected in conversation by a Moorish aristocrat, " in 
infidel-afflicted Tangier, I concluded the last task I 
performed in the vexatious vanity which is called 
business. Outside that futile pursuit it seems I had 
never done anything in all my life. Poor, starved 
creature that I was, I believe I had never thought 
anything outside business. That morning I finished 
business el hamdu 1'Illah ! x It happened that this was 
the first day of an important Moorish wedding in 
Tangier, and during the afternoon the great Sok 2 was 
an Arabian Nights picture such as you know well. 
Powder plays were unceasing, the horsemanship being 
wonderfully dashing and fine. Story-tellers and 
snake-charmers drove a thriving trade. The Sok was 
absolutely thronged, the men in new slippers, fresh 
lemon-coloured, the crooning women muffled in snowy 
haiiks, the children clad in all the colours of the rain- 
bow, and others devised of men. Ghaitah, shibbabah, 
and t'bal, 3 filled the hiving air with sound, if not with 
music. The jangling bells of the water-carriers with 
their dripping, laden skins, and the nasal cries of the 
sweetmeat pedlars pierced the mass of other sound 
shrilly, and presently the call to evening prayer over- 
rode all else and brought momentary calm. 

" Jostled here and there among the throng, I 
wandered, like a man walking in his sleep, half 
stupefied, yet more, far more receptive than ever in 

1 The praise to Allah ! 2 Market-place. 

3 Flute, reed and drum. 


my life before, and drinking in the strange, wild 
Eastern beauty of it all at every pore in my body. 
It seemed this was no trance. The men who brushed 
past me were real enough. All my life before was 
the trance then, and this rich, primitive glamour, the 
only hint of which that had ever reached me having 
come by way of childish studies in a great illuminated 
family Bible, this was the real thing ; this was life, 
and here was I in the heart of it. 

" Owing to some foolish misunderstanding, the 
true significance of which I never learned, I, the quite 
purposeless observer, became the central figure of a 
squabble. I had peered into the veiled face of some 
Shareefa 1 from Anjerra, it seemed. But the trouble 
among the excited knot of her followers had its root, 
no doubt, in my complete lack of understanding. It 
was quite a scene for Christian-influenced Tangier. 
Drawn daggers figured in it, and the Kaffir, son of a 
Kaffir, who tells you this was like to receive more 
than hard names it appeared, when the good " 

" Nay, it was nothing ; I did but speak," broke in 
Hamadi ben Ibn, the Ribati servant and follower of 
Frobisher, speaking, deprecatingly, in the Moghrebin. 

"As he says," continued Frobisher, "he did 
but speak. Understanding was all that was needed, j 
My extreme innocence made apparent, the the 
incident was closed, and, escorted by Hamadi here, 
I reached my hotel, in an admiring maze of wonder- 
ment, and safely. But all this is simply Tangier Sok, 
you say ; a thing seen and to be seen by any tourist, 
who returns at the week's end to Camberwell or Man- 
chester, and no bones about it. Just so, just so ! 

1 The wife of a Shareef, or one claiming descent from the Prophet's 


" That night, after dinner, sitting upon a balcony 
which overlooked that wondrous market-place, the 
twinkling lights of its tiny coffee-shops whispering 
through space to me of the unchanging East, the 
primitive youth of the world, as the family Bible had 
pictured it for me, I was introduced to a strange 
young English-speaking man, Christian or Nazarene, 
as the Moors would have called him, intensely interest- 
ing pagan, as it seemed to me, who had been born in 
this Biblical land of European parents, and lived in it 
a sort of petted outlaw in Christian eyes, a foreign 
devil-god more respected than disliked by Moors. 
This swarthy young athlete spoke to me of his life 
inland, half - native and half - European, wholly 
picturesque and curious. Some two or three of his 
Moorish followers squatted near by while he talked, 
motionless, dignified figures, sheeted and hooded in 
all-covering white. He was leaving Tangier for 
his home in the interior next day. He left me, at 
length, in a dream of patriarchal orientalism, and in a 
few moments the moon showed me his commanding 
figure before Bab el Fas, the city gate, which was 
opened to him, with many creakings and complainings, 
by a sleepy guard, who undoubtedly saw the Israelites 
enter Canaan. Rose then from out the shadow cast 
by the eaves of a cupboard-shop Joshua the son of 
Nun or it may have been Jethro, the father-in-law 
of Moses with a bleating, black-avised ram upon his 
shoulders, and obtained entry to the city in the wake 
of my new friend. The great gate clanged to and its 
yard-long bolt was shot. A nightingale sang 
1 Come ! ' in a garden on my right, and from an 
oleander below me his mate trilled response. 
Beyond, the bay glistened like molten lead under a 


half-moon, and close at hand a sleepless wight 
strummed languidly at his gimbri, and murmured of 
the one God, and of gazelle-eyed loves of his own in 
Beni Aroos. When I stumbled into my bedroom, as 
the daybreak call to prayer was booming across 
drowsy Tangier from its emerald-sided minarets, 
Hamadi here lay across its entrance, far gone in sleep. 
Dear life, how far was I already from the counting- 
house in Manchester ! " 

" ' You had better ride with me to-day ; I shall 
make a short stage of it. This rascal here can come 
along, too, to see you safely back to-morrow. You 
had better come and have a taste of camping out.' 

" 'But how shall I find a horse?' I asked. He 
turned to 'this rascal,' my Hamadi here, and bade 
him go find horses for us both. And so, without 
thought, the thing was done. It was done ; and 
and I remained ; and that is all ! " 

" But but, my dear fellow, that accounts for a 
day's journey. You have been seven months in the 
country. They tell me you have sold out from your 
firm at home. You have a house building ; you 
well, look at you ! " 

But Frobisher was looking fixedly, dreamily out 
into the soft heart of the young night. However, he 
may have seen the picture of himself, his reincarnation, 
there, for he resumed gravely, 

" Well, we set out after mid-day breakfast, Hamadi 
and myself, with my picturesque new acquaintance 
and his little caravan of four men and three times 
that number of mules and horses. Just so and not 
otherwise did men set out when Abraham's flocks 
grazed over virgin hills in those glad, dim springtides 
of the earth's youth. And so, you would say, a greasy 


Barbary Jew sets out on a blood-sucking journey of 
extortion among his oppressed and swindled Moorish 
debtors. Oh, I grant all that freely enough. Only 
I am trying to tell you why I remained ; the thing as 
it was, that is the thing as I saw it. As I see it. I 
had lived in Manchester. I had perversely looked 
long enough at the sordid side of the shield. Why 
should I choose to look at usurious money-lenders in 
a land which furnishes forth living pictures of the 
stateliest themes and characters of the Scriptures and 
the Thousand and One Nights? 

" I say we journeyed, then, as men journeyed in 
the days of Abraham, across land the very shape of 
which, with its sugar-loaf hills, and its rounded 
hillocks, against the sky-line, over which camels and 
laden asses, driven by hooded footmen, appeared cut 
out ; illustrations to legends of genii, necromancy and 
the flashing, passionate romance of the desert, of the 
nomadic East. And before the sun sank behind that 
boulder-strewn haunt of wandering robbers called the 
Red Hill, we came to a halt beside a little camp 
prepared by men who had left Tangier that morning. 
Fifty yards from the camp, upon one side, was an 
oleander-skirted pool fed by a spring. Upon the 
other side was the road, the Open Road, in itself a 
romance of old time and of all time. A hundred 
twining snakes lying side by side and melting one into 
another as far as the eye could see ; hollows beaten 
out of the sun-baked earth by the feet of countless 
thousands of horses, mules, asses, oxen, sheep, camels 
and men ; men spurred forward by love, by fear, by 
hate, by ambition, revenge, greed, and by that in- 
eradicable wandering instinct which was as quick- 
silver to the heels of Arabs, or ever Mohammed 


brought word of the One to earth, and will be till the 
last Arab in the world falls, gun in hand, athwart the 
scarlet fore-peak of his saddle, calling upon Death to 
witness his unswerving faith in the singleness of 

" To me, with my new-opened eyes, it was all very 
beautiful, very fragrant of the earth's young days. 
But the talk of my host rather jarred upon me. He 
aimed, I fancy, at the tone of a sporting club's smoking- 
room, and that purely upon my behalf. Also, he was 
over generous in the matter of his Rioja ; a c take no 
denial' host. I agreed readily when the proposal 
came to turn in. My host had, without assist- 
ance, emptied one bottle and the half of another of 
the Rioja. I fell at once into a light doze. An hour 
later I woke and saw that my friend lay on the broad 
of his back, reading by the light of a guttering inch of 
candle stuck in the mouth of a wine-bottle. Curiosity 
moved me and I glanced at the cover of his book. It 
was a battered copy of Nuttall's Standard Dictionary. 
Picture it and in those surroundings. 

" 'Yes,' he said with a not over-jovial laugh, ' I'm 
not altogether a savage, you see. I never hear any- 
thing but Arabic, except when I come to Tangier. I 
think and dream in it. So I peg away at this 
occasionally, just to keep the words in my mind. 
And it's not such bad reading as you might think, 
either ! ' 

" When next I woke it seemed the whole world 
was sleeping most profoundly, and that in the most 
singularly beautiful pearly violet light the mind of an 
artist could conceive, or unavailingly strive to repro- 
duce. It was that traveller's snare, the false dawn, as 
I know now. It might have been the coming of the 


Kingdom of God for all I knew then. I slid out 
quietly from under my blanket, stepped across my 
host, where he lay asleep beside the tent's mouth, and 
tip-toed out into the open. I walked toward the 
oleander-sheltered pool, and then sat me down on a 
flat stone, for the reason, upon my life, that I could 
stand no more. The strange, sad, ghostly beauty of 
it all possessed me as a palsy might, and my joints 
were become as water under me. I am conscious of 
having wept, sitting there on that stone, as a child 
having won from loneliness and danger to its mother's 
lap. It seemed the whole world, kamari* was before 
my eyes, an unending, beautiful array of smooth hills 
and dewy valleys, soaked in that marvellous mother- 
! o'-pearl light in which I felt the first of men must have 
seen the earth. The morning star gazed down upon 
me serenely radiant. Creation was at my hand, an 
intimate revelation of beauty. I could see the spheres 
slowly revolving in their appointed paths. Under the 
lee of my friend's little tent I could see the shrouded 
white forms of the sleeping Moors. Near by, 
tethered to stakes, the animals munched straw. I 
gazed down the beaten highway of a hundred trails, 
and presently a dim, white figure approached along 
that highway, smoothly, silently, swiftly drawing near 
from out the heart of the dawn. It was a man, 
loping along like a pariah dog, a stick upthrust 
between his neck and his kaftan, his few garments 
kilted above the knee, his waist tightly girdled, a 
palmetto bag swinging beside him, his slippers firmly 
grasped in his left hand. He melted past our little 
camp and out into the dimness of the valley beyond, 
without a sound ; the courier from Fez. 
1 Moon-coloured. 


" Here comes the day, I told myself, for the eastern 
cheek of heaven's face whitened suddenly. A minute 
later and night ruled. I had seen the false dawn. 
So I sat on, thinking, to see the real dawn. I was 
seeing so much so very much. By Allah and His 
Prophet, I was seeing the dawning of my own life ! 

"And so when day came I decided to ride on with 
my host. He made me very welcome in his strange 
half-native home. I stayed there a month. And 
then and that is how I came to remain." 

My friend could glean no more from Phillip 
Frobisher. He has certainly " remained " ever since, 
save for a few brief journeys in Southern Europe. It 
is a simple, fascinatingly simple and patriarchal life 
that he leads in his great white house, with its colony 
of dependants, its stream-thridded garden, its peacocks 
and its orange-shaded courtyard, near Arzila. 

As for Messrs Frobisher Bros, of Manchester, they 
passed from astonished solicitude to disgusted con- 
tempt. But they made a handsome thing out of 
Phillip's retirement. It was little he cared. 


MOROCCO is a land of tyranny, oppression 
and corruption. To deny that were to 
mnounce oneself a poor, unobservant student and no 
rue lover of Sunset Land. But the casual observer 
s far less likely to deny than he is to exaggerate, and 
be error of judgment into which, of all others, he is 
nost apt to stumble, is one of a kind so fundamental 
bat it will distort and disguise his whole future field 
)f observation for him if not soon corrected. This 
nisjudgment has its origin in lack of catholicity, and 
s fostered by Europe's physical nearness to the land 
>f the Moors. Briefly it lies in the application of the 
norals of Christendom and the ethical standards of 
nodern Europe, in one's estimate of a Muslim com- 
nunity, dwelling in a land as actually remote from 
lurope as Tierra del Fuego. No less lacking in 
ruth and symmetry is this sort of view of Morocco 
ban would be a man's view of a harvest scene in 
ural England if the fixed standard of comparison 
ind judgment carried in that man's mind were derived 
rom the study of the Matterhorn in January. Near 
is Morocco lies to the shores of Europe, no country 
)n earth is more entirely beyond and outside the 
Durview of European tastes and standards. And 
oso permits this truth to escape him need never 
lope for real insight, either into what newspapers call 
;he " Situation in Morocco," or into the true inward- 
less of Moorish life. 



Take, for example, the matter of slavery in Morocco. 
A certain type of European visitor shudders when he 
hears the word, and, should he pursue the beaten 
track to Marrakish, will be sure to tell you afterwards, 
with gusto, and before mention of anything else, of the ' 
slave-market he saw there. " Sold as chattels in open 
market, I assure you. Oh, it is an abominable 
country ! " 

Well, well, and so it may appear to the modern 
citizen of Christendom. We of the West cannot 
justify the institution of slavery. Perhaps no man 
truly can. Certainly we Christians cannot, but the 
Mohammedan is not in the same case at all. He can 
justify it. His religion (which is a more real thing to 
him than religion and temporal law together to the 
average Christian) recognises the institution and lays 
down wise and humane laws for its regulation. The 
Western reader is hereby recommended to the per- 
usal of those laws in Al Koran. Slavery among 
white men undoubtedly involved a great deal of, 
cruelty and barbarity. Domestic slavery among j 
Mussulmans, in Morocco, for example, involves 
nothing of the sort. To our shame be it said, 
the thing that makes English-speaking men de- 
termined in their hatred of slavery is the fact that 
English-speaking men horrified the world by their 
barbarity when they dealt in slaves. Not so the 
Muslim. The average slave in Morocco has at least 
as good a life as the average poor man in England. 
He not only is not ill-treated because he is a slave, 
but he is not looked down upon for the same reason. 
He is, upon the whole, a very well-treated dependant 
at the worst. At the best he is the favoured " com- 
panion of the right hand " of men of power and wealth ; 


he holds high office and is humbly deferred to by 
his less fortunate fellows among freemen. No, the 
slave in Morocco is by no means a persecuted and 
pitiable chattel, but a well-cared-for household de- 
pendant, whose life is full of possibilities, and who 
may die a Grand Wazeer. But, as has been said, the 
casual Western visitor to Morocco shudders at 
; mention of slavery. 

Let us use a parable, as the Moorish wont is. 
Mr Blank of Brixton Hill, " educated up to the nines " 
|(to use the phrase I heard used by one enlightened 
tourist to describe another in Gibraltar last year), is 
observantly parading the main street of Tangier. 
He is taken in tow by some picturesque nondescript 
of a resident, in whose veins are traces of half the 
nationalities of the Mediterranean's shores, and 
shown the sights. As a matter of course he is taken 
to the prison. Your Tangerine nondescript soon 
learns that horrors appeal most strongly to the in- 
quiring stranger from the hotel. He looks through a 
grating into a sufficiently unpleasant dungeon, as 
unlike the modern white-washed cell of Wormwood 
Scrubbs as anything could be. England has possessed 
nothing like it for at least eighty years. One 
prisoner attracts his attention. He pushes inquiry 
regarding this prisoner, and feels the while like a 
philanthropic M.P. or a Royal Commissioner. He 
learns : (i) The prisoner has occupied his present 
quarters for just six days. (2) He is the head man of 
such and such a village, near the Red Hill. (3) 
Some travellers were robbed outside that village a 
month ago, and the order went thence from Tangier 
that the thieves be handed over to justice, and 
with them a fine of $400. (4) No ; $400 had 


not been stolen from the travellers, but 200 had. (5) 
The thieves were duly handed over, and were in 
prison. (6) No ; this head man was not one of 
them. (7) Yes ; oh, yes, he was quite innocent of 
the robbery. As yet only $220 of the $400 de- 
manded from this village had been received by the 
Basha of Tangier. 

" But what of that ? " cries Mr Blank. " Here's a 
man innocent on your own confession, suffering 
imprisonment in this noisome hole for a robbery of 
which he knows nothing ! Why, you might as well 
imprison me! Horrible injustice! And when will 
this poor fellow be set at liberty ? " 

c< Ah ! who shall say ? Such things are from 
Allah. Probably when his relatives bring in th< 
remainder of that $400." 

" Horrible corruption ! How much is that ii 
English money ? " 

" The $ 1 80 ? About twenty-seven pounds." 

" And if it is not paid ? " 

" Hadj Mohammed will remain if Allah wills it." 

" What, always ? " 

" If it be so written." 

"Good Heavens!" 

" Truly, there is but one God, in whose ham 
are all things." 

" Shameful 1 " exclaims Mr Blank, and wall 
away to regard Morocco as a sink of barbarous 
iniquity for the rest of his days. 

And without doubt the system does fall short of 
perfection, even more markedly, perhaps, than do the 
systems of party government, trial by jury, correction 
by means of solitary confinement, warfare upon a 
humanitarian basis, and other shining trade-marks of 


European enlightenment. But as to how far short 
the system falls Mr Blank is a poor judge (in much 
the same way that the average juryman is a mighty 
poor judge of conflicting evidence cleverly spread 
before him by opposing counsel), for the reason that 
he regards it, or rather the examples of its outworking 
upon which he happens, from a purely European 
standpoint. He, as it were, mentally sets the case in 
the Old Bailey, imagining the robbery in question as 
ja burglary in Tooting, and the imprisoned headman 
as a sort of chairman of the Tooting vestry, who, 
when at liberty, administers a prosperous linen-draping 
establishment. Now, granting the Tooting burglary, 
the Old Bailey setting were well enough ; and in the 
lease of the linen-draping vestryman, Mr Blank's 
deductions would be admirably just. But in Tangier, 
ou see, it is not only the prison and the pallid 
wretches there incarcerated that are such a big 
remove from the Old Bailey and Wormwood 
Scrubbs. The crimes are different in detail and 
n essence ; the people, traditions, laws, customs, code, 
point of view, powers of endurance, values all are 
wholly and entirely different. Naturally, then, when 
Mr Blank, escorted by his nondescript guide, peers 
through the prison grating in Tangier's Kasbah, he 
ees something totally different there also. If Hadj 
Mohammed, the imprisoned headman, with his 
cigarette between his fingers, were allowed to peer 
into an English prison yard when a hanging was 
toward, he would be at least as horrified, believe you 
me, as Mr Blank could be at any sight the Tangier 
Kasbah has to show. Indeed, I am inclined to think 
that a week's "solitary " in an English penal establish- 
ment would set Mohammed craving for the fetid 


atmosphere of the Tangier prison with its kief 
and tobacco smoke and free gossip. 

In the robbery case instanced, the amount claimed 
by the persons robbed was $200. The amount de- 
manded by the Tangier Basha, from the village 
upon the outskirts of which the robbery took place, 
was $400. Corruption at the outset, you say. Why, 
yes, from our standpoint. Several persons pocket 
fees in connection with crimes committed, even in 
England. I n the ordinary course $400 being demanded 
from a village, the m'koddem, or headman thereof, would 
at once bustle about and collect $500, pocketing $100, 
even as his superior would pocket $200, and the 
Grand Vizier (if the case were one of sufficient im- 
portance to be heard of in court) a similar or a 
greater proportion. 

" Then it comes to this," you would say, " that the 
villagers themselves are the only sufferers/' That is 
pretty nearly so. And it is as well to remember that 
the actual robbers are probably among the villagers, 
and known to them. It is also probable that their 
plunder was really no more than half the amount 
stated by their victims say $100. So that the village 
actually loses $400, innocent and guilty in it suffering 
alike. And that is an outrageous piece of injustice, 
in English eyes. It is not so in Moorish eyes, 
however, which, after all, is more to the point. The 
average Moor had far rather run the risk of such occa- 
sional injustice than the inevitable quarterly payment 
of so much from his small earnings towards the main- 
tenance of a police system for the protection of the 
innocent. The villagers are each and all police in the 
interests of their own village. They have little or no 
ethical objection to robbery as a profession, and 


generally find the proximity of a really clever robber 
something of an acquisition to the community. If 
perchance a man has accumulated wealth, great or 
small, experience teaches him to fear greedy officials 
far more than outlaws. 

In short, the existing system, an exemplar 
of which so horrified Mr Blank, suits the men who 
live under it a deal better than would the system to 
which Mr Blank is accustomed. 

And all this, by your leave, is not at all a defence 
of the Moorish system of internal administration 
(which is about as poor a thing in the way of ad- 
ministrations as may be conceived), but merely a little 
parable meant to illustrate the futility of judging 
Moorish affairs by European standards. The East 
is not the West, and never will be, any more than 
earth is heaven or hell. And what is sauce for the 
one will always be an emetic for the other, while 
the two great groups of the human family exist. 
The theories, beliefs, tastes, and, above all, the point 
of view of the one, cannot be truly adopted and 
assimilated by the other, no matter what clever pranks 
may be played in the way of skin-grafting and surface 
amalgamation. And for these things, as for all things 
that are, let each branch of the Family render praise 
to its Triune God, the " One Incomprehensible" and 
Merciful, or its One God, " Lonely and Merciful," as 
the case may be ; for the world were a dreary place 
indeed if all its sons and daughters were as like as 
peas in the one pod. 

No white man who knows Morocco (even though 
he be a missionary) will deny that the one kind of 
Moor who is never to be trusted is the foreign-speak- 
ing Moor who has been brought a good deal into 


contact with Christians on the coast. His moral 
fibre, such as it is (rate it high or low as you choose), 
is invariably sapped from the native by familiar inter- 
course with Europeans, and he takes nothing from 
us in place of it, save a liberal assortment of our 
vices. And by the same token, what of our Western 
morality, our Christian virtues of temperateness and 
self-control, once we slide far enough into the life 
and customs of the East ? And that question re- 
minds me that I have the story of poor Pat Derry. 
It shall be given here for the point it illustrates, and 
for what it is worth. 


" T GUIDE! I guide! Ihyeh I guide!" 

_L The too-persistent wight who thus chanted 
his claim upon public attention sat crouched beside 
the hotel's front steps, a blurred, picturesque break 
in the moonlit emptiness of a sea-fronting terrace. 
In that light the bay beyond was a crescent of 
molten lead, its two horns, the gun-mounted port 
arsenal (impressive till you learned that the guns 
were fitted for no tougher work than that of saluting), 
and the old tower which links decadent modern 
Morocco to the Mauretania of Roman occupation. 
In the crescent's shimmering centre the Sultan's 
navy rode at anchor ; an old merchant steamer, pur- 
chased from the infidels and used, when not engaged 
in the transport of pickled rebels' heads, chiefly for 
the purpose of carrying grain for his Shareefian 
Majesty's troops from one port to another. 

Inside the white hotel was electric light and 
silence. Hotel and electricity both were spawn of 
the infidels, and established there on Moorish terri- 
tory, because that the Sultan, when wearied by the 
giving of many refusals, had given his consent. In the 
little hall office, the maestro, scanning figures, sipped 
his evening coffee. In the bend of the marble stair- 
way a sloe-eyed Spanish chambermaid sat chewing 
nougat. In the passage between kitchen and dining- 



hall, two Moors, waiters, squatted on their heels, 
smoking kief. In the drawing-room, the Spanish 
widow resident ogled provocatively a middle-aged 
English tourist, who drank champagne at thirty-two 
pesetas a bottle, and shared the same with his neigh- 
bour at the table tfhote. In this way, then, the widow 
paid for her wine. She was scrupulously honour- 
able. She postponed her serious evening rendezvous 
with the young gentleman from the Italian Legation 
by exactly thirty minutes each night, to permit of the 
just settlement of this wine and ogle barter. 

As for me, I lounged in the entrance way, looking 
out over the terrace at the moonlit bay beyond ; 
marvelling at the blackness of the Hill of Apes, 
picturing to myself the doings of the crooked, yard- 
wide streets of the city behind me, wondering how it 
could be that I had stayed away from the glamour 
and fascination of this bloody but beautiful Morocco 
for so long a stretch as eleven years. I had landed 
no longer ago than the afternoon of that very day. 
And the epicure in me had bade me land as a tourist, 
telling no one of my coming, seeking out no old 
friends, and allowing myself to be borne off to the 
hotel by a jabbering donkey-man. "Thus," the 
epicure had said, confident in its undying foolishness, 
"shall you taste again the savoury sting of first im- 
pressions ; so shall you lend subtle bouquet to your 

"I guide! I guide! O, N'zrani, b'Allah ! I 
guide. Naddil! Jirri!" (I will arrange! Haste 
thou !) 

The discordant wretch beside the steps was mazy 
with hasheesh, as I had seen at a glance. His 
head far back in a dingy djellab-hood, he had crooned 


over his "I guide!" till recollection of his objective 
had left the man. Suddenly he had been wakened 
to realities, probably by hunger for food, or for 
opiates. Hence his exclamations, and the boldness 
which made him pluck at my coat. This clouded my 
charmed vista; it interfered with my enjoyment of 
the moon-washed scene. 

" Seer fi-halak-um ! " (Get hence !) I snapped, 
forgetting that the use of Arabic was out of keeping 
with my role as tourist. 

The Moor started dreamily to his feet. His 
obedience cuffed me to repentance. Was I not a 
tourist and fair game ? 

"All right," I said in English. " Go ahead ! I 


And with a gesture I explained myself, accepted 
the would-be guide's services, and assured to him the 
kief and coffee money which his soul desired. He 
grunted, as though his unaffected satisfaction required 
explanation, and forged ahead of me on the sands, 
bound apparently for the city gate. 

At least the tattered rascal no longer worried me, 
for he had no other English than the brief lie that 
introduced as guide a beggar who lived idly upon 
bounty, and had never thought of playing guide until 
that evening, when an empty kief-pipe and an 
empty belly combined to inspire an effort of some 
sort. So much I gathered from the mutterings which 
reached me from out the djellab-hood of my escort. 

We reached that corner whence one advances 
either to the city gate, or, by the hill road, to 
Tangier's great outer Sok. The would-be guide 
hesitated. The business was strange and distasteful 
to him. 


" Nay," I heard him muttering in Arabic. 
"Others may show Tanjah to the Nazarene to- 
morrow. I will take him to the Fool's Fandak, 
where I shall be fed and he shall give me money to 
buy hasheesh from some traveller withal im sha 5 
Allah!" (By God's grace!) 

This rather interested me, and I followed along 
the hill road contentedly enough. The city might 
wait. My time was my own, B'ism Illah ; and I 
needed no guide in those familiar intricate alleys. 
Also, I desired knowledge as to what and where the 
" Fool's Fandak " might be. A fandak, you must 
know, is a place. No lesser or more particular word 
will serve. It is generally an enclosed space in which 
beasts are tethered, and in the cloisters about which 
men may rest and eat and gossip. Attached to your 
fandak there may or may not be a house ; there will 
almost certainly be a smell, biting, acrid and far- 
reaching, the odour of congregated men and beasts 
in a land where sanitation is not. 

As we bent our heads to escape contact with the 
lamp outside Hadj Absalaam's little Sok coffee- 
house, a breath of wind from the sea no more than 
a careless yawn, an out-puff of drowsy Africa's breath, 
so to say lifted my escort's djellab-hood backward to 
his left shoulder and showed me the face of the man. 
I confess to starting back a pace. Morocco is full of 
disfigured faces, but you might almost have said my 
guide had no face at all. It was just a flattened 
expanse of cross-seamed skin ; a slanting gash for 
mouth, two fiery eye-holes, and no more ; a night- 
marish and horrible sight. 

" Tortured in a country kasbah, or man-handled 
and left for dead in some mountain gorge,' I told 



myself ; and was relieved when the poor wretch 
jerked forward the mask-like hood of his djellab. 

We crossed the Sok, mounted by the British 
Legation, and dipped into the valley beyond. Just 
then my nostrils became aware of the unmistakable 
proximity of a fandak. Sure enough we halted a 
minute later at a great gateway set in a wall of aloe 
and prickly pears ; and, odours apart, I heard the 
stamping of heel-roped animals and the monotonous 
twanging of gimbri strings ; sounds thridded by a 
weak, unceasing tootling upon a wheezy ghaitah 
or flageolet. 

" Give a little money, N'zrani ! " exclaimed my 
guide, extending his right hand, scoop-wise, before 
me, and speaking in his own tongue the only one he 

" A nice sort of guide," I thought. Had I been 
truly a tourist and strange in this country the situation 
had been disconcerting enough without doubt. We 
were some distance from the protecting publicity of 
Tangier's lights. " For what purpose, rascal, should 
I give thee money ? " I said sharply, and in my best 

" That I may have hasheesh and kief," replied 
the Moor, with no inflection of surprise in his voice. 

" H'm ! We shall see. There is earning to be 
done here as well as giving, sir guide. If this be thy 
1 Fool's Fandak/ lead on. I will rest here awhile 
and drink a glass of coffee." 

There was no startling the fellow. He was a 
most singularly imperturbable dog. It may be that 
his phlegm was born of hasheesh, however, or that 
he fancied most tourists passed their evenings in this 
manner. At all events, with a sharp tug at a 


palmetto cord, my guide lifted the stone which kept 
the fandak gate latched, and we entered a roomy 
courtyard or corral, wherein a score of mules, stallions 
and donkeys were fidgeting over the wispy remains 
of their supper. A pool of light in one of the farther 
corners of this yard indicated the opening by which 
one reached the humanly-inhabited part of the fandak. 
This corner my guide steered for, I after him, picking 
my way cautiously among miry foot-ropes and loose 

From the pool of light we passed into a very 
spacious, oblong apartment, ventilated in Moorish 
fashion by narrow perpendicular slits in its walls 
close to the raftered roof, and by the ever-open door- 
way. On the walls two great wicks floated in 
Moorish lamp-brackets of oil, and about the paved 
floor stood a few cheap German lamps. Some two 
score men, all Moors, lounged about the room, which 
had no other furniture than mats, rugs and half a dozen 
little tables each about six inches high. Two groups 
were card-playing. Two men were strumming at 
gimbris, their eyes fixed as hemp will fix a man's 
eyes. One made his moan listlessly upon a ghaitah ; 
and the rest, lighting, knocking out and relighting 
long kief-pipes, gossiped, or lay at ease, silent. 

At the far end of the apartment a man sat bolt 
upright, scanning a newspaper through steel-framed 
spectacles. His dress was nondescript and negligent 
to the verge of indecency, but purely Moorish. Yet 
there was the newspaper! This man sat upon a 
mattress. One guessed it was his sleeping-place. 
Suddenly he turned his head toward the door; a 
movement of the man who had brought me to this 
11 Fool's Fandak " had caught his ear. The light fell 


across his unshaven chin. I stared. The man 
moved and caught light upon the upper part of his 
face. I started forward. 

" Good God, Derry ! What what do you here ? " 
I cried, and strode forward, careless of my booted feet, 
and scattering a row of slippers by the door as I 

"Eh? Oh hang it! Where have you come 
from ? U'm ? Sit down ! " 

I squatted on the mattress beside him when our 
hands had met. After touching my hand I noticed 
that he mechanically raised his own fingers to his lips, 
Moorish fashion. The last occasion upon which I 
had taken this man's hand had been somewhat other- 
wise. It was eleven years before, and the young 
Irishman had then been setting out upon the third of 
his adventurous exploring journeys in the interior, 
disguised as his custom was as a Moor, at the head of 
a little caravan of seven beasts and four men. A 
week later I had left the country. And now now I 
sat down beside Derry on his mattress. 

"Well, whose is this Fool's Fandak, anyhow?" I 
asked, feeling my way among the innumerable ques- 
tions engendered by the situation. 

" Eh ? Heard that, then, have you ? It's mine." 

"Well, but do you I mean" 

"Yes, I live here; it's my show. It's not 
exactly a business ; not a paying concern, you know. 
But it doesn't cost much. You knew that I had a 
little money of my own. Yes, I live here. I wonder 
no one's told you. Of course, the white men don't 
know me now, you know. They'd tell you I'd gone 
Fantee ; lived native, or something. I do, in a way. 
The clothes ? Oh, yes ; one picks up habits. Yes, I 


live here right enough. Let me see ; nine, ten over 
ten years now. Have a er won't you smoke ?" 

Kief-pipes lay before my old friend, but nothing 
nearer a white man's taste. He had just noticed it. 
I drew cigarettes from my pocket. 

"Look here, Deny," I said, whilst taking a light 
from him, " I don't want to pry, you know. Chacun 
a son godt, and and so on ; but what the Dickens 
are you driving at anyway ? How do you come to 
be living in living here ? " 

He regarded me heavily, and I noted with regret 
the yellow cloudiness of his eyes. I thought he 
seemed to be weighing in recollection's scales the 
quality of our friendship as warranty for my curiosity. 

" Well," he said slowly, "it's a queer, beastly sort 
of story. But if you want it, and w r on't repeat it to 
any of the other Christians in Tangier, I'll tell it 

I gave my word and waited. 

" Well," he began, and then paused, a vaguely 
pained look flitting over his thin face. " By the way, 
ye know, you mustn't think I run a hasheesh den. 
Nothing of that sort. By God, * Fool's Fandak ' it 
may be, but it is a genuine fandak for travellers 
anyway. No women here ; no dancing-boys, or 
trash of that sort. Coffee and tea I give 'em, and, 
mark you, I've got 'em to take the English tea at 
that the black sort, I mean ; less nerve-shattering 
than their green truck, ye know. The hasheesh 
and kief; well, you know what Moors are. They 
will have it. They bring it. I don't supply it. I \ 
er " 

His eyes fell on the kief-pipes and little embossed | 
hasheesh cup beside the mattress, rose then andi 


met mine. Then, slowly, colour mounted in Berry's 
face, and a silence fell between us while the Moors 
stared incuriously at the Fool and his guest. We must 
be frank, I thought. 

" Hang it, old man, I can see ! You don't suppose 
the contracted pupils and yellowness mean nothing to 
me. I noticed all that as soon as I saw you." 

"Ah! well," he said, " habits fall upon one; 
grow about you from the soil you live in hey ? I 
don't take much." 

I sighed. " But let me hear the yarn," said I. 

" Well, when I last saw you I was starting for 
Tafilet ; wasn't that it ? Yes. Well, it was a devil 
of a bad journey in every possible way ; in every 
possible way it was bad, was the last of my journeys. 
My men all died or left me in the Atlas ; and I was 
stranded in Ain Tessa with lame beasts, and not 
another soul but old Hamadi the cook. One day's 
journey from there I was making homeward toward 
Fez in disgust I reached a big fandak, after sundown 
and in a howling storm of rain and wind. Oh, but it 
was a horrible night ! Up to your girths in mud, no 
road, lame beasts, and poor old Hamadi whining like 
a wounded dog. We couldn't possibly have pitched a 
tent, so we went into this great fandak, thinking to 
"make sure of one comfortable night's rest after a very 
exhausting week. I was keen about it. I remember 
thinking how fine it would be to roll in my blankets 
on a dry floor. Man, I ran at it ; b'Allah, I ran into 
the place ! " 

Derry paused, glaring vacantly over my right 
shoulder toward that mouldering, wind-swept grey 
fandak in a savage Atlas gorge ; a place that in all 
human probability no other white man had ever 


clapped eyes on. I had tasted something of the 
strenuous delights of the Open Road in Morocco. I 
knew with what an appetite a man views walls and 
roofs, be they ever so crumbling and weather-worn, 
after a dozen hours spent in a high-peaked Moorish 
saddle, scrambling over rock-strewn quagmires in 
drenching rain. 

" But it was an uncanny place, that fandak," 
hummed Derry, rolling the words reminiscently over 
his tongue; "a howling, god-forsaken Stonehenge 
kind of a place it was. Had been a mountain kasbah 
of sorts ; big as a village, old as the Flood, and 
rottenly decayed in every stone of it. We tethered 
the beasts and got my pack into one of the two rooms 
built in a corner. You know the style. One a sort 
of store-room, that we made for ; the other, the tea 
and coffee-making place, and headquarters of the 
fandak-keeper. Most of the travellers slept round 
about the roofed-in sides with their animals, and so 
paid nothing beyond the fee for stabling. 

" You remember my horse old Zemouri ? The 
most gallant beast, the bravest, gamest horse ever 
lapped in hide." 

I nodded. Derry's love for this barb had been 
something of a byword in Tangier in the old days. 
It was said that when he was so nearly starved, on 
the Berber trip, Zemouri munched the last score of 
Tafilet dates while Derry cinched up his belt a hole 
or two and comforted himself sucking the stones. 
Not many women have been better loved, I fancy. 

" Well, it had been a devil of a day, apart from 
the going and the weather. It seemed that for a 
week we had passed close to mares at least once an 
hour. Now you remember how old Zemouri carried 


on when there was a mare in the case. That journey 
was worse than ever. By the Lord, the old horse 
was in a lather before ever you clapped saddle on his 
Dack. Mares Heavens and earth, he could scent 
them miles away! He travelled in a tremble on his 
lind legs, and near wrenched the arms out o' me, on 
a Mequinez curb that would have broken some horses' 
aws to look at. Barley b'Allah, Zemouri had no 
time to eat; it stopped his neighing. He never 
closed an eye at night, and rarely ate a mouthful, if 
there was anything feminine within sight. Poor old 
Zemouri ! He grew thin as a rail, and yet pranced 
all day like a two-year-old. He carried me where no 
other horse could, when he was dying ; and he did it 
all with an air, bedad ! A brave, a cavalier, was 
Zemouri, if ever there was one. 

" Well, of course I had found him the best place 
in the fandak; the corner close to the rooms, with no 
other beast within twenty yards of him. The horse 
was utterly worn out, but glad of the shelter, and 
inclined to feed and rest, I thought. So we went 
into the room to boil tea and enjoy our precious 
comfort. We fed and rested, listening to three very 
decent and sociable robbers, who were for making an 
evening of it, in a mild sort of way, in the little coffee 
place. Then I made up my bed, and went out to feed 
Zemouri, reckoning he'd be cooled by then. He was, 
and I was mighty pleased with the idea of the old 
horse having a good night. Two brimming tumnies 
of washed barley I left him, and then I went in and 
curled up under my blanket, praising St Patrick. 

" I was asleep in two minutes, and in five I was 
wakened by Zemouri's neighing and stamping. 
Bless the old fool,' I cried, * what's wrong with him 


now? ' I climbed over Hamadi, and out into the mire 
and rain, to get round the arch sheltering Zemouri. 
An egg-pedlar had just arrived and was already 
chewing black bread, while his raw-boned skeleton of 
a mare with the egg-pack was sidling up within six 
paces of Zemouri, and never so much as a string t< 
her fetlocks. I cursed the man for a pig-eating clown 
and told him to tether his ramshackle mare somewher 
the far side of Al Hdtoma. He stared and grinnec 
like an idiot. God knows! It may have been ha 
sheesh. I wasn't so used to that stark intolerabl 
phlegm then. However, he called me * Sidi ' humbl; 
enough, and mumbled something about moving hi 
mare and seeing that my lordship's horse was no 
again disturbed. And so, as he led his poor beas 
away, and Zemouri quietened down quite remarkably 
I went back to bed, and was asleep before I coul< 
cover myself. 

" Ten minutes later Zemouri was neighing wildly 
and pawing the fandak wall like a mad thing, 
tumbled out, swearing, and found that wretched egg 
pedlar lying smoking on a pack-saddle, watching hi< 
straying mare as she dodged Zemouri's heels and 
squirmed in towards my barley. The man gave me 
his insufferable glassy grin again when I spoke to 
him. I didn't lift my hand. I laid hold on mysel 
properly. I gave the man a tumni of barley and a 
loaf of good bread for himself, and I bade him civilly 
By God, I begged him ! go and hang himself and 
his mare on the other side of the fandak. It made 
me sweat to see his grin. I coaxed Zemouri, and 
went back to my bed. 

" But I didn't get to sleep so quickly this time. I 
was over-tired, I was worrying horribly about poor olc 


Zemouri, and all my nerves seemed in a listening 
strain, shivering like harp-strings. However, I 
dropped off after a while and slept a few minutes. 
Then Zemouri brought me out in one bound, my 
skin all pricking. The mare was browsing about 
within a few yards of my horse, and the pedlar, back 
in his old place, chewing my bread and staring 
stupidly, half asleep, at his beast. I was angry. Oh, 
yes, too angry to dare say much. I drove the pair 
out as a man shoos poultry. Zemouri hadn't eaten 
six mouthfuls and seemed to be treading on hot irons. 
I reckon my temperature was well past fever point 
when I got back to bed. 

" I don't know if you've ever been placed that 
way, to be so dog tired that you ache with it in every 
muscle, and yet to be in such a feverish sweat of 
irritation that you can't even lie still, leave alone 
sleep. I was listening. My God, how I listened ! 
That was the trouble. I could not give over listening, 
with every hair on my head and every pore in my 
skin, it seemed. It was " 

Derry paused, staring over my shoulder as before. 

"Well, to cut the yarn shorter the same thing 
happened seven separate times. Seven times that 
poor wretch of a pedlar grinned and stared stupidly 
in my face, when fury was boiling out at my pores 
like steam at a safety-valve. What possessed the 
pedlar, heaven knows. The devil possessed me. I 
could have sat down and cried to see dear old 
Zemouri using up the last drops of his vitality so. 
But I was too red-hot with irritable fury and aching 

" The seventh time came, and the pedlar grinned 
again. I still think he had no right to grin in that 


maddening, fat-headed way at a wretch in my condi- 
tion. Poor chap ! There was a big mallet there, 
used for driving in tethering stakes. I lifted it above 
my head. I felt myself foaming at the mouth. I 
couldn't speak to that staring, grinning thing. The 
muscles in my arms leapt to strike him. -I smashed 
that mallet down full and square on the pedlar's glassy 
face. I felt the thing give horrible! I swung the 
mallet again and again all over him. I jumped on 
him with both feet. I and then men came running 
from everywhere, and I stopped. I knew I had killed 
the pedlar ; I had murdered a defenceless man. I 
heard the people hiss at me like serpents. I saw 
them turn the body, find no life in it, and turn again 
to me. I was very cold. The mallet I still held. I 
was very cold. By the saints, how cold and still I 
was, who had been so hot ! " 

The egg-pedlar could never have stared more 
fixedly than poor Derry was staring over my shoulder 
now. I thought I should not get another word out of 
him. But presently his attitude became relaxed, his 
figure, as it were, caved in. I noticed then how the 
last decade had aged and broken up the sinewy young 
Irishman I had known. " I must get him out of this 
hemp-chewing, tea-sipping death-trap somehow, if he 
is to live at all," I told myself. Then he went on 
again, speaking very listlessly, and with a slurring 
economy of words. 

" I don't know how we managed to oret out of that 
place alive, Zemouri, Hamadi and me. If they'd 've 
guessed I was a Christian the Moors would have torn 
me in pieces. As it was I kept the mallet and let my 
gun be seen. You know what Moors are in the 
country, too. A man more or less ! He is dead, it 


was written. You know the tone. I gave the 
fandak-keeper four dollars and told him to see to a 
burying. Then we got away with our animals before 
daylight. But I had to live with myself, you see. 
You might think I had left that dead pedlar behind, 
got quit of him. But I hadn't, by thunder! He rode 
on my back that day, and I've never been free of 
his smashed grinning headpiece since. Eh ? " 

I had not spoken. 

" But he hasn't worried me so much of late. I 

fancy I've pretty near worked clear. It's odd, you 

'know, but I've an idea that the nearer I get to him 

if he went to the place I'm going to when he died 

the freer I get of him. And that's queer, isn't it ? " 

" H'm ! But how about this place and your living 
here?" I asked. 

" Why, don't you see that's how I'm working it off? 
I murdered a Moor in a fandak; and a pretty bad 
fandak, too. Well ! This is a pretty good fandak, 
don't you see ? And Moors come and go here as they 
like, and never a bilyun to pay. It's all free. My 
little two-fifty a year was for life, you know. Oh, I'm 
working it off. You'll excuse the habit, but I must 
have a pipe," he said with a dismal sort of a smile. 
And he filled and lighted a long kief-pipe with an ease 
of familiarity that my gorge rose to see in a white 

I had to leave him at last, for I had no notion of 
sleeping in that kief-clouded den. He took ha- 
sheesh before we parted, and I left him pretty 
rm.ddled. A strong man in a way, I thought, and 
beyond the ordinary true to an active conscience. 
Yet, in another way, how pitiably weak! Perhaps I 
did not rightly understand living native then, I 


know more of it now. And I have never met a man 
strong enough to do as Derry had done, and still 
and yet not do as he had done in the ways of 

Next morning I found that beggar-guide crooning 
on the hotel door-steps, bemused and hasheesh- 
drunk. He asked me for money, and remembering 
that I had paid him nothing the night before, I tossed 
the wretch a few reales and turned to leave him. 

"You talk with the Nazarene at the fandak. He 
tell you everything, eh ? " said the beggar, in Arabic. 
" Maybe you do not believe. Christians believe 
nothing. But it is all true true as Al Koran. Ihyeh, 
all true ; all true ! " 

I wondered why the man chuckled, and how he 
knew. I could see he was in no condition to weigh 
his words. 

"What is true?" I asked him. "What do you 
know about it ? " 

" What does old Cassim know? Ha! Ihyeh, old 
Cassim knows many things. What do I know? 
Look! Here is the face the Christian smashed with 
his mallet in the fandak by Ain Tessa ! What do I 
know ? I know I have grown fat these ten years in 
the Fool's Fandak. Not for nothing was Cassim's 
face smashed. What do I know? Ihyeh! But, 
Sidi ! the white lord will not tell his Christian 
brother of these things. It were not well that an old 
man should lose his home. I I Cassim sayeth 
many foolish words, meaning nothing. What do I 
know ? Ha ! Ihyeh, ihyeh ! Give a little more 
money, Sidi!" 

He had lowered his hood again, so that I no 
longer had the featureless horror of his head before 


me. But the creature's proximity was something 
more than I could stomach just then, so I walked 
off slowly, thinking. There was no doubt of the 
truth of his words, I thought. He was the egg-pedlar 
of the fandak. And my old friend had dragged 
through ten years of living death, with murder on his 
soul, for this ! 

In my ignorance I decided I could make up for all 
that now. I had a horse saddled, and rode up to the 
Fool's Fandak." 

Yellow, frowsy, cloudy and sad, I found my friend 
typical picture of the hemp slave in morning time. 
My news stirred him deeply, but not as a free man 
iad been stirred by it. Rather as one who, relieved 
>f an aching pain, would turn upon his other side and 
leep, there in the bed of his sickness. 

Three full days I was kept busy before I finally 
lad him clothed as a white man and sitting in a room 
lext mine at the hotel. And then, in the garments of 
is own people, he looked a strange, shrunken creature, 
ar more of a wreck than before at the fandak. He 
efused to see other white men ; and, after a few days, 
he hotel-keeper, with many apologies, complained to 
me of the kief smoke and smell of hasheesh in the 
corridor by my friend's room. 

Silver stopped this complaint. But within a day 
or two the man came puling to me about Moors 
4 disreputable natives" he called them trapesing 
ibout his hotel and congregating in my friend's 

I did what I could, but the thing was dis- 

One afternoon I was surprised to find Berry's 
'oom empty. I waited till sundown, but he did not 


return. I had my suspicions, but barely admittec 
them to myself. After dinner I rode up to the 
fandak, foisting upon myself the pretence that I 
wanted to take another look at the wretched place 
that monument to a good man's fatally wrong-headec 
devotion to a very honest conscience. 

I found Derry there, as I knew I should, sur- 
rounded by flattering Moors, dressed Moorish fashion 
and sipping hasheesh in honey from a gilt-flowerec 

He never left the fandak again, for four days later 
the Moors came to me with word that the " Fool " was 

" You must forgive me, old man," I found scrawled 
on a scrap of brown paper that was clenched betwixt 
his dead fingers. "You don't understand. I know 
how kindly you meant. But it's better this way, 
perhaps. Anyhow, I think I've worked it off now. 



'TPHE highest spiritual authority in Morocco is 
i the recognised temporal head of the realm ; 
at this present, his Shareefian Majesty Abdel Aziz IV., 
whom may Allah direct. 

It were not easy to define the exact nature of the 
Sultan's sway, his position in the eyes of his subjects. 
Loyalty to the throne, in the European sense of the 
word, is absolutely unknown, uncomprehended among 
Moors. Mauldnd, Our Lord, as his people call him, 
would certainly hold no sway whatever beyond the 
confines of his court, and very little there, failing his 
spiritual rank as the first of all living Shareefs ; 
descendants, that is, of the Prophet. Among the 
wilder hill tribesmen and the original owners of 
Morocco, the Berbers, it is this aspect of The Lofty 
Portal's greatness, and this alone, which lends weight 
to his decrees, and some glamour of sacredness to 
his will and person. But, withal, the tax-collecting 
must needs be performed by an army among the 
mountain Berbers, who will never carry their 
reverence for Allah's Anointed so far as voluntarily 
to pay him tribute in cash or kind. But the Berbers, 
it must be remembered, are not of Arab stock. 
Islam swept upon them at the points of the invaders' 
lances. Among Moors proper, reverence for the 



Sultan's holy descent, and respect for the undoubted j 
power of life and death which that descent and its 
position have given, are proven genuine, if only; 
by the historical fact that even royal acts of the most 
revolting brutality have failed to cause a Sultan's' 
overthrow, though several have suffered death at the 
hands of their personal guards, or among their! 
women. The Moors would never rebel against their | 
Lord by reason of his cruelty or injustice ; but they 
would dethrone him without ceremony or compunction 
were his holy descent disproved, or proved inferior 
to those of some other royal Shareef. 

The Moorish people, as a mass, have silently 
endured, and even now would submit to almost any 
enormity in the shape of oppression from an acknow- 
ledged Sultan. Yet if, at the instance of European 
ambassadors, for example, a measure of legislative 
reform were introduced which impinged ever so 
slightly upon religious precedent or established 
tradition, the submissive hive of toiling humanity that 
peoples Morocco would rise with the unanimity of a 
drilled army and wipe that reform out of existence. 
But if some poor half-crazed f'keeh dreamed a dream, 
journeyed afoot to the Court in far Marrakish, or Fez, 
fell upon his knees before the Shadow of the Sacred 
Parasol, and urged the same measure of reform as 
being the teaching of his vision (though that vision 
were born merely of an empty stomach by over- 
indulgence in hasheesh), the reform would be 
universally adopted law and practice throughout the 
Far West before a dozen moons had waxed and 

In name and theory all Moorish Sultans are 
absolute autocrats. As a fact, history shows that as 


with Christian monarchs so it has ever been with rulers 
of Islam in Morocco and elsewhere ; when a strong 
man succeeds to the Parasol he becomes actually an 
autocrat ; in the case of weaker saints the autocracy 
is only nominal. The Moorish Court has always (and 
at the present time more than ever before) been so 
constituted that only a very strong man could 
dominate it and bend its various influences to fit his 
own will. The immediate entourage of the ruler has 
generally contained one minister capable of driving 
his master under pretence of slavishly following him. 

The hareem of most Sultans has provided at least 
one dominating personality, and is always a power to 
be reckoned with by those whose fate it may be to 
have dealings with the Moorish Court. The Oriental 
predilection for the society and companionship of 
those whose position is practically, and often 
technically as well, that of slaves, is particularly 
noticeable in Morocco, both at court and in all great 
households. Such petted companions do not criticise 
one ; they flatter. Their very presence and their 
bounty-fed sleekness is a sort of tribute, pleasing to 
the Eastern mind as are the misfortunes of his 
neighbours to the Western person of culture. 

But, regarded in another way, there is no master 
so masterful as your pampered dependant. Nazarene 
Bashadors, in their official wisdom, may not always 
recognise the fact, but fact it is that the Moorish 
Government rarely orders a new supply of tents, far 
less signs a treaty, without the approval of some 
power behind the curtain, some stained and scented 
favourite who sits rustling her silks, jingling her 
bangles, sucking confectionery, and playing with 
human destinies in the eternal twilight of the hareem. 


The women-kind of Moorish Sultans are always 
a large and varied assortment, embracing beauty in 
black and white, and all the shades between. 
Martiniere, who should know, speaks of thirteen 
Frenchwomen being in the hareems of the last three 
sultans. It is well-known that the mother of the 
present Sultan, a woman who was always consulted by 
Moulai Hassan in affairs of State, and who no doubt 
dictated her son's policy upon his real accession after 
the death of " Father" Ahmad, the Regent- Wazeer, 
in 1900, was a Circassian bought in the mart at 
Constantinople by the late Hadj Abd es Salam, and 
presented to his Shareefian Master, the then reigning 
monarch. And it was because this reputedly beauti- 
ful Circassian became her lord's favourite that her 
offspring, Abd el Aziz, was trained for the Parasol, 
and chosen by his father to succeed to it, whilst some 
of his brothers, or step-brothers, were imprisoned, 
others exiled to Tafilet, and others buried in the 
obscurity of remote governorships. 

In view of these things it will readily be under- 
stood that competition for entry to the Shareefian 
hareem is keen. Great nobles and ambitious 
ministers will bribe the arifahs, or wise women, in 
charge to admit their pretty daughters and press 
them before the Sultan's notice at suitable seasons, 
such as on a Thursday afternoon, the eve of Muslim 
Sabbath, when the late Sultan always had his women 
paraded through the hareem gardens, in order that he 
might choose two or three to bear him company 
during Friday. The present writer knew a Moorish 
official who, fancying his position was a little shaky, 
decked out the pearl of his household, his favourite 
fourteen-year-old daughter, and sent her as an offer- 


ing to the hareem of the Elevated of Allah. It 
delayed his downfall by precisely twenty-one days, at 
the end of which time he was flung into prison and 
the whole of his property confiscated by the Sultan. 
It may have been that the daughter was found 
wanting, or that his Shareefian Majesty never set 
eyes upon her pearliness. In any case, it was written, 
and the profit thereof, to the Shareefian coffers, was 
considerable, for Hadj Mohammed had been ever a 
great " eater-up " of the district under his rule, though 
a good fellow enough in his way, at liberty now, and, 
so Fez gossips affirm, creeping into favour again. 
May Allah have a care of him ; his was a most 
admirable seat upon a horse. 

Putting aside intrigues and conspiracies, which 
are no more to be numbered than are the sands of the 
seashore, or the sins on a Wazeer's conscience, the 
Moorish Court is generally more prolific of princes 
and princesses, shareefs and shareefas, than anything 
else. Each one of these saintly little personages is 
brought up in an isolated sanctuary, each boy among 
them having a slave of his own age told off as his 
companion, to be called brother. Disinterestedness 
is rare in most Oriental countries. By this method 
the young shareef is supposed to be sure of one 
devoted adherent through life, and all things con- 
sidered, he is perhaps quite as safe to achieve this as 
the average European is likely to retain the disinter- 
ested attachment through life of his god-parents, for 
example, or any other of his relatives. The girls are 
matrimonially disposed of as speedily as may be, and 
without much effort or ceremony. They inherit no 
rank. The boys are married off at State functions 
directed by the Sultan, and only the intended heir 


(each Sultan appoints and chooses his own successor) 
is given high rank and brought prominently before 
the public as the Ruler's son. 

So much, then, for the greatest of all checks upon 
absolute autocracy in Moorish government those 
that may be called domestic. Then there is the 
company of the 'Aoldma, or "the Learned Ones"; 
the theologians and commentators, who, as experts in 
Mohammedan custom and the lore of Islam, are 
supposed to advise Majesty at all points as to what 
Alkoran counsels and what it forbids. It must not be 
imagined that these grave and reverend seigneurs 
form a Parliament or an episcopal bench. On the 
contrary, they have no fixed status, and the very 
number of them is constantly changing and never 
known. One may only say of these f'keehs that they 
preserve and expound religious tradition, which in the 
world of Islam means public opinion and public 
morality. Their opinions are always asked in every 
matter of moment, because at the last analysis it will 
be found that in Morocco all progress, movement, 
policy, the whole life of the nation, hinges upon and is 
moved by the Mohammedan faith. Moorish Sultans 
are always sufficiently politic to seek the countenance 
of the 'Aoldma, because whatever the 'Aoldma 
approve Morocco will swear to and abide by. On 
the other hand, the Elevated Presence, by token of 
his descent and position, is himself the chief of all 
"wise men," and practically holds the 'Aoldma in the 
hollow of his hand. Hence its members invariably 
ascertain the tenor of the Sultan's wishes (the parents 
of his convictions) before themselves expressing an 
opinion. And should the Elevated Presence be bent 
upon a course that is clearly contrary to Al Koran's 


teaching, the Aolama are apt to ponder solemnly 
awhile, and then announce that the point involved is 
clearly one of those left for the decision of Allah's 
Anointed, who, as the Father of Islam, is the best 
judge of its interests. But, natheless, the Aoldma is 
a slight check upon the Autocrats of all the Moors, 
and a very present refuge in negotiation with friends, 
and in the fending off of infidels with their thirst for 
" improvements." 

Descending the scale of authority, from the Lofty 
Portal's own sacred person, one must reckon first with 
the prime favourite of the hour. That favourite may 
be a woman ; that is an unseen, and accordingly the 
more absolute, power. If a man, the favourite will 
probably be Grand Wazeer (Wazeer el Kabeer) and, 
to all intents and purposes, the active ruler of the 
land, having control over all monies and appointments, 
with unlimited power for oppression and imprisonment, 
and practical power of life and death. If an able and 
ambitious man, this favourite will probably unite the 
position of Wazeer el Barrani, or Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, with that of Grand Wazeer. But, in Tangier, 
where the Ministers of the European Powers reside in 
their Legations, there is Hadj Mohammed Torres, 
Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, who is really the 
only Moorish official in personal touch with the 
Representatives of Western civilisation, and, accord- 
ing to the Christian estimate, the only honourable 
and straightforward Moorish official living. Hadj 
Mohammed is reputed to have passed his eightieth 
year ; his position is one rich in opportunities, his is a 
country in which official salaries are practically un- 
known and official rapacity a thing looked for and 
expected, yet, to his lasting credit be it said, this 


Commissioner for Foreign Affairs is still a man poor 
in worldly gear, and one of his sons, a working shoe- 
maker in a cabin hard by the official residence, has 
made slippers for me, while his brother sold candles 
in a cupboard a little farther on. Hadj Mohammed 
is probably the only office-holder in Morocco who 
does not accept bribes as a matter of ordinary routine. 
Be it noted, as an instructive fact, that he is far from 
being the most popular of officials among his own 

There are two other important Ministers in the 
governmental system of Sunset Land, those of 
Finance and the Interior; and the latter has far 
more to do with money than the former, for the 
Minister of the Interior has the nomination of pro- 
vincial governors in his hands, and these be posts 
for which men must pay heavily, in hard coin, in 
flocks and herds, and in goods and chattels ; where- 
as the Mul el Mai (he of Finance) presides over an 
exchequer, details as to which are probably known 
to no man a treasure which is divided between the 
three capitals, Fez, Mequinez and Marrakish, and 
which, it is said, can be opened only by agreement 
between the keepers, the governors of the palaces, the 
chief eunuch, and the wise woman in charge of the 
hareem. 1 Gentlemen of considerable official dignity 
and influence are the Bearer of the Parasol (mul el m' 
dal), the Fly-flicker (mul el shtiash), the Master of 
Ceremonies (mul el meshwar), the Executioner with 
the gun (mul el m'kahel), the Spear-bearer (mul el 
mzreag), the Headsman (seeaf), the Flogger (mul 
el azfel), the Tea-maker, Tent-layer, Cushion and 
Spur-bearers, and a few others whose strength lies 
1 See Meakin's Moorish Empire^ p. 206. 


in the known fact of their personal nearness to the 
Elevated Presence. All these, like the various 
Ministers, like Allah's Anointed himself, expect to 
be approached only by those who bring " something 
in the hand." The more important the person, the 
more considerable must the " something" be, and if 
it is a personage of highest rank whom you would 
interview, then must a list of your intended presents 
precede you, and according to the nature of that list 
so shall your reception be, cordial or brusque, pleasant 
or forbiddingly cold. 

In Morocco the Court is more distinctly the centre 
of all light and authority than would be the case in 
any Western land, and this for the reason that daily 
sight of his Lord is the only gauge by which an 
official may judge of the safety or otherwise of his 
tenure of office, of his life and liberty even, and of 
his freedom to prey upon his less highly-placed fellow- 
man. Also, to the man about the Court, each day 
brings its chances of gifts in store. By a well-chosen 
present, an aptly-turned phrase, by the discovery of 
a fellow-courtier's disloyal scheming, by a deft touch 
of flattery, by any of a hundred and one trivial chances, 
a sedulous dependant of the Court elevated by Allah 
may at any moment be raised to the highest pinnacle 
of power, rank and wealth, in place of some un- 
fortunate wight, who is stripped of these gauds and 
loaded down with chains in some rat-infested old 
grain-well or other dungeon all in less time than 
Christians take to obtain a summons for debt or 

The diplomatist or traveller who looks to find a 
higher code of honour (as such matters are under- 
stood in Christendom) the higher he goes in the 


Moorish social or official scale is foredoomed to dis- 
appointment. Some of the most brazen liars in 
Morocco are men of very high standing. An 
English Minister once tore up a treaty and flung it 
at the Sultan's feet, stung to fury by the crude dis- 
honesty of the men he dealt with. Needless to say 
he gained little by that. Deceit is a perfectly legiti- 
mate weapon, according to the ethics of all Oriental 
courts, and is used as such. In the courts of 
Christendom it is an illegitimate weapon, and, one 
gathers, is used as such. The Westerner gains 
nothing by losing his temper over his Oriental 
adversary's use of cunning; but he does gain 
materially by the use of judicious firmness, just as 
he loses inevitably when he persists in adopting 
toward an Eastern potentate the same attitude and 
tactics which have served him in dealings with his 
own race. Upon the whole, European official deal- 
ings with the Moorish Court are colourless and unin- 
teresting, but I must tell here the tale of a certain 
unofficial transaction between Morocco and a 
Western Power, because I think the story too good 
to be missed. 


H, yes ! " said the slighter of the two men on 
the beach, speaking with the last extreme of 
languid bitterness. " So long, certainly ! And good 
luck by all means, if you can place any value on 
wishes from me. God knows I've no further use for 
wishing myself. You've more grit left in you than I 
have, Jones! " 

The other man paused. He had been strolling 
off along the sun-whitened sands toward the town. 
He turned now, with a shrug of his broad, scarcely- 
clad shoulders, and regarded curiously the limp, 
recumbent figure of the man he was leaving 
leaving stretched there in the shadow of a ruined 
fort, a crenellated shell, with toothless, half-buried 
cannon, and walls which glib guides dub Roman. 

"I told you my real name yesterday," he said, 
with brusque geniality. 

4 'But I didn't reciprocate," rejoined the other, 
screwing one elbow further into the powdery sand. 
" Jones is a good enough name for you, isn't it ? And 
I'd just as soon continue as Smith till till the only 
kind of luck I wish myself comes ; and that's death ! " 

" Rats ! One square meal and a cigar would alter 
all that, sonny. By the hokey, a good fat kesk'soo 
an' a cigarette 'ud see me through. An' I'll 
worry 'em out o' this blooming old city to-day, too ; 
you can kiss th' Book on that, Mister Smith since 
it's Smith an' Jones you prefer. So long! " 



Now kesk'soo is a purely Moorish dish, and 
Jones was but a recent arrival in Sunset Land, whilst 
the other man had spent many years in different 
corners of it. Yet Jones's -mouth watered at 
mention of kesk'soo, while nothing short of a 
European hotel meal, with napery and attendance, 
would have served to stir Smith's wearied imagina- 
tion. That was the loss of Smith ; or perhaps, as 
Jones would have called it, "his damned gentlemanly 

By exactly what manner of devious and down- 
ward-tending bypaths a man having such a way with 
him had happened upon just Smith's present level 
in the social structure, Jones had not yet learned. 
A certain indolent reticence was part of the slender 
man's way. As for Jones, his little affair was 
simplicity itself. He had killed his man in Gibraltar 
(though himself modestly deprecated the distinction, 
saying, " An' it wasn't a man, when all's said, but 
only a snickering Rock-scorp pimp ; a thing in patent- 
leather boots an' a pink-striped shirt ; stunk like a 
polecat, he did, o' women's scents rot him!") aid 
served two years' imprisonment there for man- 
slaughter " under great provocation." An English- 
Australian sailor, second mate of a tramp, he had 
been judged by his peers on the Rock, who admitted 
that the creature slain only missed inclusion in the 
vermin list "for lack of a tail." His two years 
served, Jones had drifted across the Straits, "to grow 
my hair," and in Morocco, unfortunately, had taken 
to stone-face gin from Hamburg a false and fiery 
friend who strews all the world's beaches, and its 
forsaken guts and gullies, with the stark victims of its 
fierce liaisons. 


Jones had become a feature of the town, even as 
one of its smells, its fountains, its city-gate beggars, 
or the mad f keen of the camel fandak. So had 
Smith, slim, languid Smith, whom men had known 
by another name in Spain, in London, in Fez and 
elsewhere. But this difference lay between the two 
as features of the crooked, hiving streets : Jones was 
grinned at good-humouredly alike by Moors and 
Christians, and that even when cursed by the latter 
sort and refused the drink or other alms he sought ; 
but Smith was cursed and sneered at without smiles. 
A man mostly reaps as he sows, after all, particu- 
larly in primitive or barbaric communities. And 
Smith dealt openly in listless contempt, and in the 
snarls of stung pride, cracked self-respect, and vanity 
scotched and mutilated, albeit breathing and bleeding 

" And to think it's come to this," muttered Smith 
in his sand-bed, when Jones's retreating figure had 
dwindled to the smallness of a locust a locust show- 
ing black, not yellow, upon that sun-bleached ribbon 
of sand. " By the Lord, I couldn't creep much 
lower! A kind of partner with that with this beggar ; 
and and a mighty poor partner at that ; doing less 
than a share of the work. Grrr ! Why haven't I 
ended it all before now ? Liquor ! Don't I know 
the whole miserable round? I don't even hanker 
after liquor. By Heaven! I desire no other thing 
than an end to it all." 

The man rose in sections, cumbrously as a four- 
footed beast leaves the litter for its daily toil. Erect, 
he shaded his lack-lustre eyes with one hand a 
shapely hand shielding a face by no means unrefined 
or ill-looking and gazed out over the sparkling 


water-rows which mark the Atlantic's meeting with 
the Mediterranean. 

Then, with curious, mechanical deliberation, he 
began to shed his few garments, his sole remaining 
badge of civilisation. 

" Fine weather for bathing," he sneered aloud ; 
adding then an inarticulate jibe, by way of recognition 
of the feebleness of his spoken satire. And now, 
suddenly, the dignity of a fixed resolution was 
furnished forth upon the face of the man, over-riding 
the weakness of its habitual lassitude. He stepped 
on, across the hot, powdery sand, to the brown 
ribbon that won its colour and firmness from the 
action of the uttermost crest of the innermost 
breaker, the last of an unending dozen. The beach 
shelved steeply here, and the sea sucked hungrily 
to draw back each crisp curl of foam it flung upon the 

Smith met the first breaker with his finger-tips, and 
emerged on its far side, swimming. A dozen such 
short dives and he was becalmed in placid blue 
water beyond the breaker line. The thought in his 
mind was, " Where's the sense in grinding through 
the breakers all this way? Why not have finished 
back there among them? But there's time enough. 
No one to interrupt one here. Last thoughts, last 
wishes, regrets, pros and cons I have no use for such. 
I've done all that; thought everything there is to 
think about the thing. Now for the end ; rest. 
Here goes for the bottom." 

He dived, there in the calm, clear water of the 
bay, and in his ignorance believed he had taken his 
last look at God's green earth, the world of which 
his life and temper had so sickened him. He did not 


realise that this was to pit the desires of one naked 
shred of humanity against great and unalterable 
forces of Nature. 

Presently he rose, spluttering, angry, gasping and 
humiliated, to the sunny surface. He floated idly for 
a few minutes. As the good air filled his lungs 
again it seemed turned to gall and despair. 

" God ! Can't I do even this thing properly ? " he 
muttered. " I'll do it among the breakers." 

So he headed for the shore, swimming slowly, 
rocked luxuriously by the great, unbroken rollers, 
which seemed smoothest and most peaceful in the 
moment preceding the furious crash with which they 
broke, and careened riotously landward in boiling 
torrents of white froth. Smith rose with delicious 
softness and ease on the back of an enormous roller. 
For one instant the whole ocean seemed at rest, the 
naked human floating idly high above it. Then the 
roller crisped, and broke thunderously, turning the 
wisp of humanity completely over and pounding him 
under hundreds of tons of white foam. 

There was his chance, this little human who 
desired death. Death was roaring in his ears now. 
So different from diving against and through them 
is attempting to swim with and past Atlantic 

Smith emerged, battered and gasping, in the trough. 

" Ough ! Hough ! " He could no more keep back 
the gasping cries than he could avoid instinctively 
striking out now upon the smooth surface of the 
hollow. Two gasps, and with a prodigious roar the 
next breaker had him in its tumultuous toils. 

The man had no thought of suicide now ; nor life, 
death, misery, hope or any other consideration 


occupied the mind of him. He was just an in- 
significant atom of unthinking human flesh and blood, 
beaten, bruised and gasping, struggling blindly, 
desperately to reach dry land. 

And at the last of it, when all mental consciousness 
had departed from him, though he still struggled 
feebly, Smith's feet touched bottom, and he staggered, 
panting and trembling, to the line of dry sand, across 
which he fell on his face, helpless, gasping, with 
heaving chest and an unendurable thudding pain in 
his left side. 

So he lay, through the better part of an hour ; and 
the pitiless white sun peeled flakes of grey skin from 
off his shoulder-blades, while the more pitiless 
damnation of self-knowledge bit into the shaken soul 
of him. He was moodily drawing on his trousers, 
when the man he called Jones appeared from the 
landward side of the old fort. 

"He's drunk, noisily drunk fool!" That was 
Smith's first thought. " Gad ! he's brought liquor 
and grub for me at all events. I am hungry." That 
was his second reflection ; and, unlike its predecessor, 
this second surmise was correct. 

"You see me, Smith?" shouted Jones. "I've 
struck oil. I've struck gold nuggets the real thing. 
Here, have a drink ! Come along into the old humpy. 
I've got to talk an' you've got to listen ; and we may 
as well feed. I struck old Bensaquin for this and I'm 
goin' to strike him for dollars to-morrow. Oh ! but 
I've rung the bell this trip. We are about to retire 
from this beach, Mister Smith and live on our means." 

" H'm ! I tried the retiring while you were gone, 
too, but" 

"You tried what? You never set eyes on my 



colour, sonny; you couldn't. It's virgin hey? 
Come on in, an' while we feed I'll stake out the 

Together they entered the old fort, and sat them 
down in the embrasure which had sheltered them for 
more than three weeks now ; ever since their first 
coming together, in fact, wanderers from the poles of 
respectability, mutually drawn, it seemed, by the 
magnet of vagabondage existing for both in the 
tropical no-man's land of the Beach. The beach in 
this case happened to be a sea-shore. The Beach is 
everywhere, however, south and east of Europe ; 
within and without the sound of breakers. 

They had Moorish loaves, fried mincemeat on 
skewers, a square-face of gin and an earthen jar of 
spring water, with a greasy copy of A I Moghreb al- 
Acksa for napery. It was with a shrug of disgust, 
contemptuous hatred of all his circumstances, that the 
smaller man fell to upon the coarse food, but it was 
none the less a fact that as the meal progressed this 
same course food put fibre into the man's voice and 
movement, and light where vacancy had been in his 

" So you've found a billet, have you ? " said 
Smith, when, raw hunger appeased, he began hand- 
ling the food with more decent deliberation. 

" Found a billet?" echoed the other from a full 
mouth. " By the hokey, I've done a deal more than 
that. What's a billet? In a country like this, too? 
No, sir I've found a fortune. That's what's the 
matter with me. A fortune for both of us. Because 
you've got to help me lift it ; and, anyway, we're pards, 
whack and whack alike. Yes, sir ! What d'ye think of 
a cool ten thousand sterling apiece, hey ? Cut a tidy 


dash on that, even in the old country, couldn't you ? 
My oath ! I shall take a little farm and breed a prad 
or two. Queer," he hummed, on a full-fed reminis- 
cent sigh ; " but the sight of a mare an' foal always 
did fetch me, even back home in th' old days, at 
Shoalhaven. That's N.S. W., you know. Ah, h'm ! " 
" You haven't been drinking at all, have you, 
Jones?" asked Smith, raising the square-face to his 
own lips as he spoke. 

" Well, I haven't much chance while you're about," 
grinned the other. " But no ; it's not jim-jams, 
sonny, but just copper-bottomed, hard-wood cert, and 
you can kiss th* Book on that. And now we've fed 
I'll tell you. You know there's a new American 
Consul-general here; came last month?" 
-Yes. Well?" 

" Well ! Now this afternoon old Bensaquin met 
me in the inner Sok an' gave me a letter to take to 
the American Consul ; to be given into his own hands. 
Up I goes to the U.S. Consulate, like any gold- 
braided Excellency, and asks for the Consul-general. 
Engaged with th' commander of the United States 
warship lying in th' bay there. I could sit down an' 
wait. 'All right,' says I ; an' just strolls out on that 
little green balcony an' squats down in th 1 shade. 
Next minute I'd pricked up my ears. I was right 
under th' Consul-general's window, an' th' shutters 
were open, that being the shady side. 'Well, 
some one was saying, 'what's the exact amount of 
our claims just how anyway ? ' That was th' 
commander, I reckoned, because it wasn't th' new 
Consul's voice. 'Well, I've worried it down a bit 
from the original,' says th' Consul, 'and now it's a 
hundred and twenty thousand dollars Moorish, you 


know an' not a cent less/ D'ye see? That's 
about twenty thousand sterling, isn't it?" 

Smith nodded, with a fair show of interest. He 
was fed now, and smoking. 

" ' H'm,' says th' commander, 'an' you don't want 
to present yourself at Court before next year ? ' ' Jes' 
so,' says th' Consul. * An' what's more, I don't want 
to be enforcing claims then, but making myself 
agreeable an' getting concessions.' 

" They kep' quiet for a bit, an' then th' commander 
took a fresh light for his cigar. Yes, they were as 
close as that to the window. ' Well,' says he, 
between puffs, * by what I can make of it you'd best let 
me play the stern and unforgiving partner, like that 
Jorkins chap in Dickens, you know. My orders were to 
hang about here while I could be of any use in settling 
our outstanding claims, as you know. Well, now, it 
don't matter a cent how I personally stand with th' 
Sultan. I've no particular use for th' old chap's good 
opinion. And I'd rather like to pay another visit to 
the Court anyway. I've been in this Moorish racket 
before, ye know before you were out o' school-days. 
Tell ye what I'll do. I'll jes' steam along as far as 
Mogador, putting in at the little ports for a day, just 
to show 'em our guns. You send a courier to the 
Court with word that I await cash settlement of our 
claims at Mogador. Say my orders from Washington 
are all-fired peremptory. Say my ship'll wait one 
month on th' coast, an' that you fear I shall then 
come personally for settlement at Marrakish; and 
that failing cash up then, me bein' a brutal sailor chap, 
I'm likely to proceed to th' bombardment of the coast 
towns. I tell you that's the only way to talk to these 
beggars. You can rely on me. I know this country 


all ends up. And at th 5 month's end, off I go with 
my little caravan to Marrakish. You'd better say a 
fortnight, just to stir 'em. But I'll wait a month 
really. You jes' tell th' old huckster, in the name of 
the United States, he's got to stump up to th' last 
cent into th' hands of Commander Hawkins. I'll do 
th' rest. How's that?' 

" Well, they palavered a bit more, an' th' Consul- 
general he reckoned it was a great scheme. * That 
courier shall start for th' Court to-night, captain/ says 
he. And so they settled it ; an' presently I got my 
letter delivered an' cleared off to old Bensaquin for 
backsheesh, thinkin' th' thing out in my mind as I 
went along. * Now,' says I to myself, 'here's twenty 
thousand pounds as good as goin' a-beggin'. Twenty 
thousand isn't here nor there to th' U.S. Government 
anyway. But it 'ud be th' devil an' all of a fine thing 
for Smith an' me th' makin' of us. It's lying round 
kind of loose in this old Bible-story country.' Now 
what do I want to get th' fingerin' of it? I want 
mighty little. There's mighty little 'twix me an' 
twenty thousan' notes. I want a partner; a gentle- 
manly sort of chap who knows th' native gab inside 
out. That's one thing. Then I want just enough 
money to take me an' my pard down to Mogador, in 
th' wake of that U.S. warship ; to let us land as though 
from th' warship, one of us in some sort of uniform, 
for choice, an' get together half a dozen Moors an' 
animals, with a little grub, an' th' loan of a few guns. 
An' then, hey for Marrakish, me an' my partner! 
that is th' secretary an' th' U.S. commander; an' 
an' whose goin' to stop me comin' back with that 
twenty thou'? By the hokey, sonny, it's just the 
deadest bird that ever was hey ! ' 


" It's a most ingenious scheme," said Smith, slowly, 
" a most ingenious scheme ; and upon my soul, I 
almost wish it could be worked." 

" Wish it could what ? " 

" Yes, wish we could have worked it. The money 
would be a deal more good to us than to the States. 
But, of course, it can't be done. You don't seriously 
think it could be done, do you ? " 

" Seriously think ! Why, holy smoke, what else 
d'ye think I've bin talking for? Think it could be 
done! Man, th' thing'll do itself. Old Bensaquin 
will advance th' ready. I'll tell him th' whole thing, 
halving th' amount, an' we'll promise him two an' a 
half each. Do it when you've got th' language at 
your fingers'-ends, an* I've got all th' particulars. My 
colonial ! You don't seem to see what a clipper- 
rigged scheme this is. Why, what in blazes is there 
to stop us doing it ? " 

"The thing's on your nerves, Jones, that's why 
you don't see it. It's stealing, my dear man; 
common or garden theft." 

" Oh, rats ! Are we in a kid-glove sort of a posi- 
tion on this beach ? An' who'd lose by it, anyway ? " 

"We should. Penal servitude, Jones; a long 

Smith was chewing his moustache feverishly, and 
his thoughts, with maddening persistence, ran upon 
pictures of himself bowling down golden Piccadilly in 
a hansom to open a bank account with ten thousand 
pounds. Not to Franois Villon himself did money 
ever seem more sweetly desirable than it seemed to 
this plexus of irresolution who, a few hours earlier, 
had set out to quit this world for one in which money 
probably is not. Yet he spoke reasonably and with 


indifferent wisdom, you see ; and habit lent an 
indolent aloofness to his words which chilled Jones to 
the bone. Poor Jones, with his cheery muscularity, 
his crudeness, and his simple desire to win clear of 
the beach and acquire a competence! 

Jones returned to the attack then, chilled and 
feeling that the odds were against him. He was no 
thought-reader, or student of such indicative minutiae 
as the moustache-chewing practice, but just a plain, 
kindly, rather gross man, full to the throat of a 
scheme of golden promise that, to him, seemed 
morally legitimate as sea-fishing or smuggling he 
ranked such things as equal and that no doubt was 
as morally legitimate as the commercial cornering of 
foodstuffs on change. 

"You've lost nerve, Smith," he said, " and that's 
what spoils your eye for th' colour in this scheme. It's 
not the scheme's fault. Th 1 scheme'll wash every 
time, an' don't you forget it. But this forsaken beach 
has sapped your nerve, an' you're just seein' things 
when you talk of penal servitude. Why, man, I 
could carry this thing through with both hands tied 
behind me. It's binnacle-steering work. Penal 
servitude ! Penal blazes ! Why " 

He talked a good deal in that strain ; and at the 
end of it Smith said languidly, "It's simply common 
theft, just robbery, none the less." 

Then Jones rose, shaking fragments of food from 
his great loose frame as he did so, and strolled out 
before the ruined fort in time to see the moon rising, 
slow and silvery, from behind the Hill of Apes. He 
was whistling in a disjointed, discordant manner. 
But Jones lacked his companion's training in indiffer- 
ence the training that comes of habit. He had 


really risen to hide the fact that there were tears of 
hot disappointment in his eyes. And he had not 
hidden it. Suddenly a hand fell upon his shoulder 
lightly, a small hand, used gently, in Smith's " damned 
gentlemanly way." 

"Look here, Jones, don't grizzle! I'll do it. I'll 
go with you." 

" You will ? You'll work it with me ? God bless 
you ! Give us your hand on it ! " 

"Eh? Oh, that's all right. I daresay it's right 
enough. As well one thing as another," said Smith, 
listless as ever now the step was taken. Jones had 
not heard his barefooted approach, but had swung 
violently round at the touch of Smith's hand. And 
so the thing was settled. 

" Ye see, I never could've attempted it without 
you," explained the now jubilant Jones. " Even the 
Sultan wouldn't be such a Juggins as to take me for a 
naval swell ; whereas you, Smith, dashed if I shouldn't 
take you for something tony in th' gold-laced, Govern- 
ment House line myself." 

" Would you ? " murmured Smith, as a bored 
man acquiesces in a tea-table comment on the 

"And then there's th' lingo, you see. You'll be 
able to do the talking." 

" Yes ; I shall be able to do the talking, certainly. 
Do you know, I think I'll go to sleep now." 

" Sleep ! Oh, well, all right, old man ; as you like. 
I shall get into the city and tackle old Bensaquin. 
There's no time to lose." 

"Just so. I'll say good-night, then. I wouldn't 
give the show away more than I could help. Your 
Barbary Jew's a snaky beast." 


So they parted, Jones striding off in the moonlight, 
uplifted and elate, Smith retiring to the flaky-walled 
embrasure which was home to them both, and there 
stretching himself full length upon the sand. 

" Rum beggar, my word ! " quoth soaring Jones. 
" These Old Country gentlemen tss, tss ! But I 
guess the real thing's in him. Smoke ! if I can only 
rummage up something gilt-edged in the way of a 
uniform ! " 

An hour later saw him closeted with Bensaquin 
the Hudi, in the heavily barred and bolted cupboard 
in which that venerable son of Israel lived and carried 
on his varied and delectable concerns. 

The Jew proved wary and cautious, yet amenable. 
He even improved upon Jones's scheme by managing, 
through the good-nature of an American with whom 
he had business, to secure passages to Mogador for 
the two Christians aboard the United States warship 
Hiawatha, Commander Hawkins. And as the com- 
manders of men-of-war do not look to take fares, this 
meant that the American Government gave free board 
and lodging, and a safe convoy through the initial 
stages of their adventure, to two persons bent upon 
diverting from the said Government's coffers the sum 
of twenty thousand pounds sterling. 

Honest Jones was tickled to the deepest shallows 
of his simple soul by this aspect of the business, and 
ate for three at the petty officers' mess. American 
sailors fare plenteously and well. Even Smith 
seemed languidly amused and pleased, while his com- 
panion in crime was made literally to swell from pride 
when, on a perfect May morning off Rabat, Com- 
mander Hawkins himself called Smith to his side 
upon the quarter-deck and engaged that polite adven- 


turer in friendly and apparently interested conversation 
about Morocco and Smith's business there ! 

This was the first of several amiable chats for 
Smith. Once or twice it happened that Jones was 
present in the flesh at these meetings. I say in the 
flesh, because mentally he could not have been said 
to take part. Commander Hawkins ignored him 
with a rudeness most exquisitely polite. Just before 
the end, the commander happened casually upon 
Smith alone, and addressed the young man genially, 
as usual. After various remarks, 

" Er your er Mr Jonah, I think you said his 
name was ; may one ask how er what you " 

" Mr Jones Jones is my partner, sir." Smith's 
eyes met those of the commander, levelly, without 

" Ah ! I understand. Quite so. Good-morning, 
Mr Smith." 

The captain resumed his promenade. " Misguided 
young ass, all the same, one fancies. But they are 
loyal, these young Englishmen. Quite the public- 
school glare he gave me young fool ! If that Jones 
is not however, it's not one's own funeral, of course." 

Smith and Jones were duly landed in the man-of- 
war's launch at Mogador. In that they spread them- 
selves as much as possible. Then, as unobtrusively 
as might be, they made their ways to the house of a 
Jewish merchant, a correspondent of Bensaquin's. 
Animals and a few Moors were there engaged, and 
that afternoon a little caravan rode out of the town 
bound for the Court at Marrakish. Smith was the 
central figure, mounted on a showy horse and dressed 
in a Spanish military uniform, tarnished yet fine, the 
worse for wear, but ornately frapped and gilded. 


The Jewish merchant had his instructions. Native 
gossip was to be set moving; and native gossip 
would travel to the Court faster than Smith and 
Jones could hope to make the journey. 

It was a queer embassy without a doubt ; but) 
once clear of the coast, appearances mattered little. 
Smith was the American commander ; Jones, the 
bubbling and elated, merely his secretary and lieu- 
tenant. Yet the chief was the mouthpiece of all 
orders, even to their cook ; and, as a fact, the captain 
of the expedition was Jones. Jones had no Arabic. 
That was the loss of him. But as sheer indolence 
made Smith transmit his partner's orders almost 
literally, they were fairly peremptory and vivid, even 
at second hand. 

One day out from Marrakish the two met a 
courier jogging toward the coast, the heels of his 
stained slippers pulled well up, his staff sticking out 
from the back of his neck, the slack of his crimson 
trousers tucked into his girdle and a big palmetto 
satchel upon his shoulders. 

"This chap's a Sultan's special courier, I fancy," 
said Smith. 

" Is he, by God ! Hi ! Stop him, partner." 

Smith obeyed. 

" Make him turn out his swag." 

" It's as much as his life's worth." 

" Well, that's not as much as twenty thou'." 

Under pressure, the Moor revealed a great sealed 
letter addressed in Arabic to Commander Hawkins. 

" Tell him that's you, and read it," said Jones. 

The commander, in his tarnished finery, read 
aloud a flowery list of excuses, fair promises, requests 
for delay, and the rest of the stock cant with which 


his Shareefian Majesty wards off pressing claims upon 
his treasury. 

" H'm ! All right. Pocket the letter, partner, and 
get that fellow to tail on to our crowd. We must 
make some show entering the city to-morrow." 

The thing was done as the real chief ordered. 
The languid gentleman in uniform made it so. 

At daybreak next morning two of the followers 
were sent on ahead to herald the approach of this 
illustrious mission. 

"Tell them to lay it on pretty thick, partner. 
Say the Americano is mighty wrathy, and must have 
his audience to-day, or to-morrow at latest, else back 
we go to the coast to prepare for bombardment." 

Again Smith made it so, and the main body of the 
caravan moved slowly forward. 

Now it happened at this particular juncture that 
the Prophet's lineal descendant, his Shareefian 
Majesty at Marrakish, was in a chill tremor of anxiety 
anent the action of the infidel upon his south-eastern 
frontier. It did appear to the Sultan that the years 
of the French " creep in" upon his decadent realm 
were about to end in a final snap which would send 
three columns hurtling into Fez from Ain Sefra, and 
establish the tricolour in place of the blood-red emblem 
of pretended Moorish integrity. Therefore, argued 
the simply crafty potentate, let me by all manner of 
means kowtow to all other Nazarene pigs and 
particularly those not allied to the French pigs. 

Our adventurers were hospitably and respectfully 
welcomed at the city gates, before a chevaux-de-frise of 
gory rebels* heads, and immediately beneath the 
Nazarene's Hook, that hideous spike upon which 
gentle Moulai Ismail of honoured memory loved to 


impale Christian captives, pour passer le temps, and 
by way of impressing his puissance upon their 
surviving fellows. 

The American Bashador was to be received on 
the morrow, announced the salaaming m'kaddem. 
Meantime, would his Excellency and suite deign to 
find entertainment in his Sacred Majesty's most 
palatial guest-house ? To this his languid Excellency 
consented with an admirably official nod, playing his 
part, all unconsciously, to a miracle. His Excellency's 
secretary had wit enough to recognise the superlative 
verisimilitude of his partner's rendition of the part ; 
yet, for himself, could not for his life refrain from the 
gushing urbanity of a Regent Street shop-walker 
when acknowledging this city-gate welcome, and 
hugging to himself all that it meant in the out-work- 
ing of his scheme. But, fortunately for the success of 
his plans, the simple soul had not a word of 'Arabic 
beyond " Thank you!" and "Get away!" 

Bright and early on the morrow, too early, as 
Downing Street reckons time, even for the taking of 
the morning tub, his American Excellency was 
summoned to the Sacred Presence. In view of the 
urgency of the matter in hand, and, to be accurate, of 
his Serenity's cold perspiration over news from his 
south-east frontier, the audience was to be a private 
one ; in a room of the palace, that is, and not a-horse- 
back in a courtyard, with the harassing accompani- 
ments of gun-firing and discordant fanfares, such as 
the Sultan orders when in good heart. 

Only the Eyebrow, or Chamberlain, the Grand 
Wazeer, and the usual more or less hidden circle of 
slaves were in attendance upon the Prophet's 
descendant when he first clapped eyes upon Messieurs 


Smith and Jones, the former at ease in his elaborate if 
slightly archaic Spanish uniform, the latter dis- 
sembling his nervous eagerness, as one supposes he 
thought, by alternately scowling like a stage pirate 
and washing his hands in mid-air after the fashion set 
by retailers of inexpensive feminine attire. 

His American Excellency, using the Moghrebin 
with colloquial fluency, greeted the Parasol, and 
stated the claim of the United States of America 
more listlessly than the average man orders soda- 
water at the breakfast-table. 

His Shareefian Majesty, having tremulously taken 
snuff on the fork of his thumb, was understood to 
murmur graciously the wish that his illustrious visitor 
might attain great longevity. Regarding the incon- 
siderable trifle just mentioned, the Eyebrow explained 
with gusto that a messenger bearing with him the 
120,000, in panniers, was even then on his way to the 
coast in search of his American Nobility. 

Nobility smiled satirically and translated to his 
secretary. The secretary, throwing aside his earlier and 
linen-draping manner, assumed the mien of a mediaeval 
executioner, and said, in a hoarse English whisper, 
" Tell him he's a liar, and show him his own letter. 
Remember what the commander told the Consul ; it's 
the only way to treat these beggars." 

Still smiling, " My scribe sayeth," murmured Smith 
to the Eyebrow, "that your Excellency is a liar. He 
also remindeth me of this thy letter, which reached 
me not at the coast, but on the road hither. In this 
is no mention of money save in the way of pro- 
crastination, the which I am bound to tell you my 
Government order me to respond to only from out 
the mouths of the great guns upon my ship." 


Again his Shareefian Sublimity attempted to take 
snuff, but, as though to keep his sacred knees in 
countenance, the puissant right hand of Allah's 
Anointed trembled so violently that the precious stuff 
was all spilled 'twixt mother-o'-pearl tube and royal 

The Eyebrow ventured tentatively to bluster a 
little upon the personal point of honour. This was 
suppressed, however, by an impatient movement of 
the Sultan's. " A mistake has been made. Your 
Excellency shall receive the money by royal courier 
within the moon." 

His Excellency translated, and, prompted by his 
secretary, replied, "The Sun and Moon of all the 
Faithful misunderstands us. Our instructions are 
urgent and definite. We set out for the coast 
to-morrow morning. The money must be paid over 
to us, in panniers, this afternoon, and an escort pro- 
vided from his Shareefian Majesty's soldiers to guard 
us and the money on our way out of Marrakish. 
We go in any case. If with the money, in all peace 
and content; without it, the " 

The sacred snuffbox jerkily intervened. The 
Eyebrow bent his head to catch Majesty's murmurs. 
" The money will be paid and the escort provided this 
afternoon. Your Excellency has his Serene Majesty's 
gracious permission to take your leave of him, and he 
wishes that your Excellency may live," etc. 

Smith carelessly voiced a hope with reference to 
Majesty's shadow, and the incident was closed, the 
audience terminated. 

"A hundred and twenty thousand dollars in 
panniers this afternoon to-day ! Jee-wosh ! What 
a gold-leaf, copper-bottomed miracle ! A hundred " 


Thus Mr Secretary Jones to his uniformed commander 
in hoarse whispers and as they left the palace 

" Yes. Seems all right. Thing worked fairly 
well, didn't it?" rejoined the commander. 

" Worked fairly well? Great snakes ! I wonder 
what you'd call a really first-rate scheme that worked 
very well. I don't think you've rightly got on to the 
thing. A hundred and " 

" Yes, yes ; I know. But there's no need to make 
an anthem of it/' said Smith, quietly. 

11 No need to Smoke! And they make 
anthems in Europe when a king and queen get a 
son ! " Jones's feelings were clear and emphatic 
enough if his speech was a little involved. His was 
indubitably the mind which had conceived the whole 
scheme. Upon his initiative entirely, and at each 
audacious turn, the thing had been carried through. 
Yet, in its out-working, the affair did, in Jones's eyes, 
, so resemble a fairy-tale of the lived-happily-ever- 
after order, that the man trembled and was overcome 
by a dread of its all proving unreal before he could 
actually finger the prize. 

The hours immediately following upon their 
audience at the palace formed a period in his life 
never to be forgotten by the man Jones. Wearied 
out at length by the outward and visible signs of 
his partner's distress, Smith left the perspiring wight 
alone in the guest-house, fretting and quaking in an 
agony of anxious impatience, and strolled out into 
the shaded courtyard to smoke and think. 

A severe moralist might have disputed and 
objected to the enunciation of the fact, but it never- 
theless was a fact, that this reprehensible, this criminal 


expedition in which the pair were engaged had done 
Smith a world of good, and that both morally and 
mentally as well as physically. It is safe to assert, as 
a general rule, that to engage one's self in crime is 
not good for the soul. Yet, for truth's sweet sake, it 
must be repeated that his share in this buccaneering 
and fraudulent quest had infinitely purged the moral 
nature and heightened the mental stature of the man 
who had found suicide too much for him on the 
beach before the old ruined fort. 

" Upon my soul ! " he muttered to himself, " but 
this is a deuced discreditable business for my father's 
son to be engaged upon a most infernally discredit- 
able business. I know what I'll do if Allah permits 
us to scrape clear with with the swag. I'll get 
right away to Australia or America, or yes, gad! 
yes to America, of course ! And make a clean 
start, and let the Government have my share of this 
haul anonymously. Hang it, I've got to live with 
myself. One must keep moderately clean. 
Conscience money. I've seen the sort of thing in 
the Agony column of the Times. Gad! but I'll do 
it, too. As for Jones poor old Jones! A most 
excellent chap in his way. He won't know his hands 
are dirty, and so, in a way, I suppose, they won't be. 
And it'll very likely make quite a worthy, rate-paying 
sort of citizen of Jones. It's all a matter of the point 
of view. I honestly believe he'd cut his hand off 
rather than rob an individual. Oh, Lord, here he 
comes, with his nail-biting sweat of nervousness! 
Ah, Jones ! Quite jolly out here in the shade, isn't 
it? I suppose our royal escort will be along 

Jones stared in wan amazement at his partner's 


sang-froid. "As though it were a porter with our 
baggage ! " he exclaimed. 

"Well, it's no good grizzling. The thing's all 
right. Why, these must be our fellows sure 
enough ! " 

Into the courtyard then clattered two palace 
guards, mounted showily. Behind them a man led a 
string of five not overladen mules with iron-clamped 
boxes in their shwarries. Behind these again rode a 
Court official, and last came a single mounted 

The courtyard gates were closed, the shwarries 
were carried into the patio, and the rest of the after- 
noon was solemnly devoted to the counting out of one 
hundred and nineteen thousand nine hundred and 
eighty-seven big bright Moorish dollars. The odd 
thirteen, so characteristically on the right side for the 
palace, Commander Smith magnanimously forgave. 
The money was repacked securely, the palace official 
took his departure with laden purse, and the two 
Christians passed the night within easy reach of their 
prize and its guardians. 

Not a hitch of any sort came to justify Jones's 
nervous foreboding. The little caravan was under 
way shortly after daylight, and the palace guards 
accompanied it a good day's march toward the coast. 
After their departure the adventurers distributed their 
bullion evenly amongst their bedding and provisions, 
and so approached Mogador bearing burdens ap- 
parently of the most commonplace description. 

Twenty miles out from Mogador the party met 
another caravan, heading toward Marrakish. 
Traders, Smith called them, after a glance at the 
little line of hooded white figures and laden pack- 


animals. The newcomers drew rein as they reached 
our adventurers a common courtesy of the Open 
Road calling for no remark. 

"The prosperity of the morning to you!" said 
Smith, carelessly enough, as the closely-hooded leader 
of the caravan ranged alongside him on a big blue 

"Ah! Yes, one fancied it must be you two. 
Don't move, Smith ; don't move, sir. Three of my 
followers are American seamen (though they mayn't 
look it in this rig) and trophy-holding marksmen. 
Present arms, men ; and keep your eyes about you. 
Ah, Mr Jonah ! It is Jonah, I think ; or am I 
mixing names ? You will be so good as to dismount, 
Mr Jonah. Smith, get down. We will camp here 
for an hour, just to see that the bullion for my 
Government is all shipshape. Bo'sun ! " One of the 
hooded figures of the caravan slid smartly from his 
beast, cast his djellab, and came to the salute as 
upon Commander Hawkins's own quarterdeck a 
trimly-uniformed petty officer of the United States 

" Upon my word," resumed Commander Hawkins, 
the leader, " I am half inclined to think it all 
nonsense, this notion that one must wear Moorish 
dress in travelling here. You may take this garment, 
bo'sun, and just pitch my little tent sharp as you 

The commander had drawn off his all-cloaking 
djellab, and now displayed his fine figure in trim, 
warm weather mufti. The tent pitched: "Just see 
to our friend Mr Jonah, and and the things, bo'sun. 
Mr Jonah, perhaps you will rest awhile with my men 
here ; good, clean American sailormen every one, Mr 


Jonah. No doubt you will find topics of mutual 
interest. Now, Smith, just step inside here with me, 
if you please. One finds serious conversation almost 
indecent in such a glare of sunlight." The com- 
mander motioned Smith to a camp-stool, and sat 
himself cross-legged upon another, facing it. "Now, 
first of all, have you the dollars with you, Smith ? " he 
asked pleasantly. 

"Yes," replied Smith, somewhat gloomily but 
with composure. 

" Ah ! The whole lot, intact ? " 

" Thirteen short of the hundred and twenty 

" Really ! One is moved to compliment you, 
Smith. You really did remarkably well. One knows 
something of that Court and its methods. And now 
tell me, Smith, what in the name of simplicity induced 
you to allow your er your mission to become 
common native talk in Mogador ? " 

"That! Oh, Jones insisted on that as a means 
of letting rumour pave the way for us at Court." 

" Ah ! Mr Jonah is unfortunate in his influences. 
Did it not strike you that the same means might pave 
your way to to this meeting after the other ? One's 
crew is allowed ashore in batches, you know. In 
that way the rumour naturally reached one in time. 
It was your scheme's weak point, this contribution of 
Mr Jonah's, don't you think? " 

" Oh, as to that, I think his scheme was pretty 
sound for a simple-minded man. He is a singularly 
good-hearted, simple soul at bottom in spite of 
though you find us " 

"Ah! one somehow guessed it. Then the whole 
scheme was Mr Jonah's. One could almost have 


sworn it. You er made the acquaintance on bed- 
rock, so to say, Smith ? Deep spoke to deep, eh 
and that sort of thing ? " 

" He's a thoroughly good sort, really," said Smith, 
half in aggression and half pleadingly. 

" H'm ! Just so. Well, now, Smith, one does 
not want unnecessarily to humiliate white men, 
particularly before natives. There must be no 
attempt at er at leaving this party, if you please. 
We can look further into matters on board. In the 
meantime keep cool and go straightly. Smith. Never 
despair. One feels bound to say that one gave you a 
hint about the undesirable character of your partner- 
ship quite a while back, on board. However now 
keep cool, Smith. We are both entitled to our own 
opinions about the wholesomeness for you of Mr 
Jonah's intimacy. Meantime, sir" and here the 
commander's voice took on a sudden solemnity, a 
grave dignity very impressive to hear "be thankful, 
be very thankful, that things are as they are, and you 
where you are. You are free now of that dirty 
load from the palace. It has reached its true 
destination and is in the right hands. Be you very 
thankful for that." 

" Why, frankly, I have been since the moment I 
recognised you. I meant to make for your country, 
anyhow, and However, that won't interest you." 

His real thought was : "You won't believe that I 
meant to repay my share, so I won't bother telling 
you." But the commander was a far-seeing sailorman, 
shrewd, Bohemian, and with a temper of ripe and 
catholic benevolence. 

Smith did presently reach America, and under his 
own name too which brings one upon the heels 


of quite another story. Under his own name, Smith 
was Commander Hawkins's private secretary. And 
Jones, the last I heard of simple-minded Jones, was 
that he had shipped from 'Frisco as mate of an island 
brig bound for Honolulu. 


ALL men cannot be courtiers, even in " The Land 
of the Afternoon," and, of course, there are 
some powers in the country outside the neighbour- 
hood of the Exalted Presence. There are, firstly, the 
provincial governors who purchase their posts from 
the Minister of the Interior, or, in a few cases, are 
appointed by our Lord himself, by way of reward for 
services rendered, for rare presents given, or, in the case 
of a man of Shareefian blood or a possible rival, as a 
dismissal from Court. In the interior these governors 
inhabit great ksor, or castles, which are really small 
villages enclosed by a fortified wall, and built about 
the central residence of the governor himself. In his 
own district the power of one of these governors is 
supreme, maintained by his own soldiers, and suffici- 
ently demonstrated by punishment in his own prison 
for who should doubt it. At intervals a governor is 
supposed to journey to Court to make his obeisances 
to the Presence, and to hand over tribute from his 
province to the Sultan's treasury, besides presents to 
his Lord and to the watchful army of Court idlers. If 
such visits are not sufficiently frequent or profitable to 
the Sultan, the backward governor is invited to attend 
without delay. If, in response to such an invitation, 
he brings but a light token of his fealty, his visit ends 
in a dungeon, troops are sent to ransack his kasbah 
for treasure, and within a day or so his post, his 



residence, his women, chattels and gleanings of every 
sort and kind are sold, practically to the highest 
bidder, probably to some trusted former adherent who 
has managed to accumulate gear during his reign, and, 
having heard of his superior's summons to Court, has 
journeyed thither himself with full hands and well- 
laden pack animals. 

The present writer knows one intelligent Moor 
who has twice occupied the position of a lesser 
monarch in this way, ruling a countryside as absolute 
autocrat thereof, and who at this moment is pleased if 
he find bread twice a day and a blanket for chilly 
nights in the reeking dungeon which he shares with a 
score and more of other chained unfortunates. His 
crime was that " Father " Ahmad, the late iron-handed 
Wazeer el Kabeer and Regent, considered that his 
yield of tribute to the State coffers was a good deal 
less than might have been squeezed out of his district. 
So Ba Ahmad invited my friend to Court, and, being 
a temperate man and always averse to any unneces- 
sary taking of life, did not follow the quite ordinary 
custom of handing the governor corrosive sublimate 
in his tea, but merely threw him into an underground 
granary and had him industriously flogged, with a 
view to extorting information regarding hidden 
treasure. The governor, whether from innocence or 
obstinacy, kept a stiff upper lip, and took his daily 
meed of punishment without comment. 

Presently, " Father" Ahmad being a practical, if 
not a merciful, man, the floggings ceased, and when 
the month of Ramadan was well passed, and the mire 
of the tracks dried, his Shareefian Majesty's troops, 
directed by Ba Ahmad, proceeded to "eat up" my 
friend's district, among others, in the course of the 


usual spring forays for taxes. This " eating up" is a 
temperate phrase enough, and annually justified by 
fact. The Shareefian troops do leave little more in a 
countryside which they have thrashed for taxes than 
a swarm of locusts would leave in a bed of mint upon 
which they had called a noon-day halt. Their most 
approved method of settling a question as to the 
existence of hidden treasure in a village is to capture 
the inhabitants, lop off the heads of the men, for 
pickling and spiking upon the gates of their Lord's 
capitals, preserve the young women, burn the village 
to the ground, dig up its foundations, in case of buried 
money, and leave no living thing where that village 
stood, beyond its scavengers, the pariah dogs. To 
ride through a recently-chastised district in the wake 
of the Sultan's army is to journey with a sore heart, 
and, unless one goes well laden, with empty bellies 
for man and beast. But these visitations do not spell 
revolution, or civil war, or anything at all like it. 
They were written, they come when and as Allah 
permits, and there's an end of it. Fatalism is talked 
of in Europe. It is only in the world of Islam that it 
is understood, felt and lived. With us of paler 
Christendom it is an article of faith that the meek are 
blessed for that "they shall inherit the earth"; that 
they who mourn or are poor in spirit, and persecuted, 
are also blessed ; also that no sparrow may fall from a 
housetop without the cognisance of God the Father 
and Comforter. These beliefs are a part of religion 
in Europe. They, and others like them, are the basis 
of life in Morocco. Christians extol the enduring 
faith of Job. Mohammedans imitate and equal it in 
daily life. We of Christendom profess to hold earthly 
treasures baubles, and wear out our lives, and the 


lives of others whom we retain to help us, in the 
search for such treasure, and in its accumulation. 
The sorriest beggar in all Morocco, the most ignorant 
dolt in the Soudan, proves by his life, and often by 
his death, that our empty profession is his living 
belief. And his philosophy of fatalism, if rooted, as 
Westerners are wont to affirm, in laziness and indif- 
ference (it is really rooted in the fact that his religion 
is actual, real and literally genuine to him), is dignified 
and marvellously enduring. 

"It seems the pesky thing will wash, anyway ! " 
said a well-known American, speaking of the same 
philosophy after watching a chained file of prisoners 
squatting on their ham-bones in pitiless sun glare in 
the Sok, or market-place, at Mogador. They were 
starved and chain-galled, these men, with bruised 
bodies and blood - encrusted feet. Four of their 
number had died on the march, their dead heads 
having then been cut off that their bodies might clear 
the connecting chain. Their crime was that their 
kaid had not paid sufficient tribute to the Sultan. 
Now, as they squatted in the shadeless market-place, 
a passer-by occasionally gave one a dish of water that 
he might moisten his parched throat and blackened 
lips withal. The man so relieved would murmur a 
"God be with thee." Not a single murmur could be 
heard among his unrelieved fellows, who calmly, im- 
passively stared straight before them, or answered 
evenly enough the casual remark of a bystander, 
smoked if the wherewithal were given them, or failing 
this were as sedately reflective and dignified without. 
Their religion and the fatalistic philosophy born of it 
were not mere professions with these men. 

I well remember, during an early visit to Morocco, 


making a short journey with a Moor of repute and 
standing in his own town. At night we were enter- 
tained by a village sheikh, a friend of my companion's, 
and a man who interested me greatly. 

" How did you come to know Sheikh Mohamet ? " 
I asked my companion as we jogged out of the village 
in the dawning next day. 

" Oh, I met him in prison some years ago Tetuan 
prison it was. He was a stranger there and his 
people had not reached Tetuan. And so he had no 
food or blankets. He shared mine, and we became 

The matter of course nonchalance of it all ! 
Imagine yourself asking an equal, a fellow clubman, 
a similar question, and receiving as answer: "Oh, 
Robinson ? I met him in gaol. We were at Worm- 
wood Scrubbs together." And Robinson the mayor of 
his town, remember. In this connection I must set 
down here the yarn of an English friend of mine and 
his friend, Sheikh Abd el Majeed. I give it as my 
friend gave it me. 


YOU will understand, of course, that I was no 
stranger to Morocco at the time of the story. 
A new arrival in Sunset Land is necessarily blind to 
much that goes on in that singular survival of 
patriarchal days which lies within sight of southern 
Europe. And he must walk warily if he would keep 
a whole skin and live to walk elsewhere. 

I was camping at the foot of Ain Sfroo during a 
very leisurely pilgrimage from the interior toward 
Tangier ; beautiful sea-girt Tangier, where the English 
and other infidels do congregate; "the city given 
over to dogs, and the spawn of dogs," as Believers 
pleasantly put it. My head man, Boaz (a jewel for a 
journey), had hit upon an ideal spot for our little camp. 
Behind us the jagged peaks of the Ain Sfroo soared 
and towered into the sky-line. Before my own tent 
a gnarled old olive, cruddled and bowed like an eighty- 
year-old field labourer at home, gave me pleasing 
shelter. Close beside my servants' tent ran a little 
brook of merry, brown mountain water ; and all round 
and about us the foot-hills met the plain in a stretch of 
verdure, so clear and pleasant to the eye that one 
fancied it had been a bowling-green of the gods ; of 
some sportive community of Djinnoon, let us say. 

I fancy I had dozed for a few moments (I had 
taken no siesta that day, and we had ridden, albeit in 
leisurely style, since dawn) when the sound of strange 



voices, and the clean, quick footsteps of mules roused 
me, and I saw that a party of strangers were about to 
pitch their camp for the night within a hundred yards 
of where I lay, attracted no doubt by the beauty and 
fitness of the spot for that purpose. 

" Who comes ? " said I, lazily, to Boaz, who was 
stewing a chicken for me over a charcoal brazier. 
Boaz had evidently taken stock of the newcomers and 
already exhausted his interest in them, for he replied 

" Four dssdseen" (Guards), "and one who is 
already twice dead and buried." 

I thought this good enough to sit up for, 
and I noticed then that in the midst of the four 
mounted men two rode mules, pack-laden, and two 
were on gaunt horses, with high scarlet-peaked saddles 
was one afoot, his wrists bound with palmetto cord 
to the stirrups of a rider upon either side. 

"What then?" said I to Boaz. "Who is the 
Mead man'?" 

" It is Sheikh Abd el Majeed " (Sheikh Slave 
of the Glorious, that is) "of Tazigah; not for long a 
Sheikh, b'Allah, since it is but three moons since his 
father died May God have forgiven him ! and now 
now you see him ! " 

I was interested. I had known city-gate beggars 
in Morocco who had been Bashas or Governors of the 
towns they begged in. Also, I had known a water- 
pedlar who became a great Wazeer and ended his 
days, after enjoying great power and riches, in a 
particularly noisome dungeon in Marrakish. So this 
captive at the soldiers' stirrups was the young Sheikh 
of Tazigah. I had been in Tazigah, disguised as a 
Moorish woman of the peasant class (I confess to 


some pride in the statement, which perhaps two other 
Nazarenes might truthfully make), and knew something 
of the queer savage border-land town it was. You 
see the Kaid of the Ain Sfroo province is the nominal 
ruler of the whole of the Ain Sfroo, and, as a fact, does 
rule and extort taxes right up to the very outskirts 
of this same town of Tazigah. Into the town itself 
his myrmidons have not yet pierced. Beyond it, 
men laugh at Basha, Kaid and Sultan alike, never 
having paid a tax, save to their own brigands, and hold- 
ing that the gun, the knife, and the strong right arms of 
mountain-bred men are in themselves the law and its 
dministration and its penalties. Stern, hardy, free 
men are they ; and the Tazigs of Tazigah, they claim 
e same sort of immunity. But their claim is not, as 
ith that of the mountaineers beyond, undisputed, 
'azigah is on the border-line. But for the young 
>heikh of Tazigah to be bound to the stirrups of 
ascals of the Kaid's guard this was woeful, I 

" They must surely have caught him outside the 
own ? " I said to Boaz. 

" Ay, at the house of that crawling son of the 
legitimate Hamed Fasi, I believe," replied Boaz, 
urning the chicken in the stew-pan. " But, b'Allah, 
"azigah of to-day is not the Tazigah of my day or 
tie worms would be eating those same guards by 
,ow. But now, you will see, Tazigah will become as 
village of the plain, and Kaid Achmet may he ride 
ver a little more uneasily, till his bones rot! will 
gather his taxes there, as he might in the salted place 
f the Jews." 

I was not in a position to contradict this prophecy, 
o called for the bread and the tea-pot, and settled 


down to the discussion of a somewhat elderly but 
admirably-cooked chicken, while Boaz and his comrades 
courted surfeit upon some three-year-old meat, pre- 
served in rancid butter, and some fritters which seemed 
to possess all the properties of oil-skin, or very thick 
waterproofing material of some sort. 

Dinner ended, I lit a cigarette, and bade Boaz 
convey to the neighbouring guides, with my salaams, 
some tea and sugar, and a certain tin of sweet biscuits 
of a sort that no Moor I had ever met could resist. 
Word of the guards' gratification being duly brought 
to me, I allowed a decent interval to elapse, and then, 
followed by Boaz and his two assistants, strolled 
down the slope to the tent of the soldiers and their 
captive. The idea of the pinioned young Sheikh 
possessed me. 

" Peace be upon ye, O Believers! What news ol 
ye? Nothing wrong with ye?" And so forth, ac- 
cording to custom, I showered the usual salutations 
upon the four brigands (for Raid's guards all through 
Morocco are nothing better than brigands), received 
their orthodox responses, and was bidden welcome. 
A place of honour was cleared for me upon a ragged 
carpet before the tent-pole, and some of my own tea 
was poured out for my delectation, in a little blue, 
gold and crimson mug, such as I have seen children 
in England place before their dolls. A sprouting 
head of mint was in the pear-shaped metal tea-pot, and 
one drank a spoonful of sugar to two of the decoction, 
making hideous noises with one's lips the while, and 
gasping after a drink as though choking from 
delighted surfeit. This if one would be truly 

Opposite the tent-pole, on the side farthest from 


the entrance, I saw lying Sheikh Abd el Majeed. 
The young man was stretched upon his right side, 
his wrists bound behind him to a stake at the edge of 
the tent, and his ankles bound together with palmetto 
cord. In his eyes one read something of the dignified 
philosophy with which all Mussulmans the world over 
meet misfortune, and a good deal of haughty contempt 
for the persons and methods of those who had brought 
him low ; and at the back of all else one saw some- 
thing of the indescribable horror and loathing which 
the semi-savage feels for the state of captivity. Bill 
Sykes probably does not like a cell at Holloway ; but 
I fancy it must be less objectionable to him than an 
eighteen-penny cage to a skylark, or pinioned captivity 
to a Tazigah Moor. And Abd el Majeed was born a 
chief, you will remember. 

I gave him sympathetic greeting with my eyes, 
as far as I could make those organs express my 
feelings ; and I thought he understood, and returned 
me a not ungrateful glance from his own heavily- 
fringed big eyes, which in that light appeared as black 
as sloes, and far more glossy. Speaking then as one 
entirely without information on the subject, I ventured 
upon inquiries regarding the prisoner. The chief of 
the soldiers answered me with unhesitating candour, 
and as though the prisoner himself, being already a 
corpse, had no longer hearing or any other sense to 
be offended. 

" Ihyeh ; that's the young Sheikh o' Tazigah ; 
and him the Kaid has desired to entertain these many 
moons. His body should mean dollars in our pockets, 
sure enough ; and without doubt the trick by which 
we won it deserves good pay. We got Hamed Fdsi 
to send him word of a horse no man could bestride, 


by token that the beast could kick a house from off 
his back, and if the house could have been builded 
there. Now, as all men know, the vanity of the 
Sheikh was that mare never dropped the foal he could 
not handle, and ride, and cow withal. The Sheikh 
came down from Tazigah, as if to his wedding, and 
crafty Hamed had him soon astride my chestnut 
there, a heavy-headed, peaceful beast, that would not 
kick a snapping dog, but will go down on his knees 
when I tell him, like any camel. * Down, Daddy 
Big-head,' I shouts from my place behind Hamed's 
cow-shed. And in a moment the four of us were 
upon the Sheikh, while crafty Hamed picks up the 
gun the young man had propped against the house- 
front. Oh, 'twas undoubtedly a brilliant to-do ; it 
should make a song in Ain Sfroo for many a day. 
And so there lies the body o' him, and the Raid's 
dollars as good as in our pockets. And mind you, 
he was no weakling in his life, but a mighty muscular 
young man, the Sheikh o' Tazigah. A great capture, 
truly ! But these be mere trifles in a soldier's life." 

It was rather uncanny, I thought, this use of the 
past tense in speaking of the young man who lay 
listening, with his great eyes smouldering in the dusk 
of the tent. But, to be sure, he had fatalism to support 
him, the hardy philosophy of his blood and breeding, 
and his belief in a very luscious Paradise for all young 
Sheikhs who were true believers. Still, it must have 
been a leek to eat for a gallant young man, and well 
I knew that the cords that bound him must be a 
suffocating torment to Abd el Majeed. Moreover, 
there was a large grey mosquito upon the bridge 
of his nose, and a drop of perspiration trickling to 
the corner of one eye. 


" And what might be the trouble, then ? " I asked. 
" What thing hath given an edge to your Raid's 
desire to entertain the Sheikh ? " 

" Ihyeh, 'tis a double edge, Sidi ; a blade to cut 
bone as well as body. The Sheikh is twice dead, as 
all here know." 

"Ay, so Boaz hath told me," said I, forgetting 
my assumption of ignorance in the matter. " But the 
forging of the blade what led to it, O brave soldier ? " 

" Why, Sidi, that is surely plain to all men ? First, 
the Kaid desireth taxes from Tazigah, and so would 
have its Sheikh by the heels, and place one of his 
own people in that place ; and second, who is to 
marry the Raid's daughter now ? " 

I started at this. "Why, Allah alone knoweth, 
friend," said I. " But what is that to the Sheikh ?" 

"Sidi, thy life has surely been led in some far 
place. The Sheikh, in his life, was married to our 
Raid's daughter. 'Twas thought the thing would 
bring Tazigah properly under our master's rule. And 
on the morning after his wedding, what did the Sheikh 
do but turn his wife away with a paper of divorce, for 
all the world to see ; the woman and her bridal gear, 
foot and pack, he sent them all bundling down the 
hillside to her father's castle again. And there she 
hath remained, a catch for who would marry a great 
Raid's daughter with a record. What keener edge 
would ye have for our Raid's desire to entertain the 

I nodded. The young Sheikh was in sober truth 
" twice dead/' I thought. And if you are curious 
regarding the Muslim view of such things, let me 
commend to your notice the 24th and 22nd 
chapters of Deuteronomy. The Mohammedan 


rule is based upon the Jewish, but is milder. Prompt 
divorce suffices without stoning. But in the case of 
a powerful Raid's daughter " Y' Allah t'if!" I thought. 
"The Sheikh is indeed very dead!" And then, 
turning my eyes upon his recumbent figure (there is 
something which stirs the heart strangely in the 
sight of a man lying bound hand and foot, like a brute 
prepared for slaughter ; it is his utter helplessness, I 
fancy, that moves one's bowels of compassion), I was 
startled to note a light of unmistakable appeal in the 
black eyes as they met mine. It seemed Abd el 
Majeed must have read my thoughts, and his eyes 
seemed to say, " Nay, not dead, but maybe dying for 
lack of the helping hand of some true man ! " 

Almost involuntarily, and certainly without pause 
for thought or consideration of the difficulties involved, 
I returned the captive's look with a distinct affirmative, 
a glance which I well knew said plainly to him, " I 
will give that helping hand ; watch thou for me ! " 

It was a reckless promise, but, having made it, it 
was incumbent upon me to use my best endeavours 
to redeem it. Up to that moment I had not given 
one fleeting thought to the matter of the prisoner's 
possible escape. I had merely felt regret for his poor 
case ; regret for the tragedy of things Moorish, the 
inevitable tyranny, oppression and suffering of this 
most mysterious and romantic of the old-world realms. 
But for any attempt at rescue well, if a Nazarene 
sets himself to remedy the lot of every unjustly- 
oppressed wight he comes upon in the Land of the 
Setting Sun, he needs more than the wealth of the 
Indies at his back, the enduring strength of an 
elephant, the patience of Job, and the sort of philo- 
sophy which makes a man impervious to the basest 


sort of ingratitude or treachery. And, with all this, 
he may look to succeed in unsettling a few score of 
people, and temporarily improving the lot of one in 
ten thousand if he live long enough. 

But I had passed my word, though no word had 
passed my lips. 

The syrupy, mint-scented tea was exhausted, so, 
in rising to leave my hosts, I promised to send them 
a further supply ; and was informed that, for an un- 
believer, I was really a most excellent and redoubt- 
able person, of very respectable origin and goodly 
bearing. I predicted glory, riches, and a sumptuous 
pavilion in Paradise for my hosts, each and severally, 
and with pious wishes for their well-being in both 
worlds took my departure, followed by my trusty Boaz. 

On the way back to my tent ideas jostled one 
another in my mind, and I am bound to say that none 
of them were of much account. 

" Now, if only I had some sort of a sleeping-draught 
to give them, in place of this tea, that might advance 
our case a little," I thought, as I scooped some tea 
into a tin for Boaz to carry to the guards. But my 
medicine chest was small ; quinine, calomel, and two 
tiny bottles half-full of chlorodyne being all that I 
possessed in the way of drugs. " Well, well ; better 
half a loaf than no bread," I muttered. "Bring the 
teapot, Boaz." He brought our large pot and we made 
a strong brew of tea. Into this I emptied my two 
half bottles of chlorodyne, wondering the while what 
the estimable inventor of that soothing drug would 
have thought of my dispensing. I remembered that 
the stuff had given me sleep more than once in cases 
of mild but painful dysentery. 

" Boaz!" I growled, with sudden sternness, "you 


have some hasheesh in your pouch. Now, don't 
deny it ! " I had endeavoured, unsuccessfully, of 
course, to wean the man from the use of the drug. 
He confessed somewhat sulkily. " Well, then, go 
thou and ply the guards with it every particle of it. 
And give them this tea. But drink none of it your- 
self, and take no hasheesh, for I have work afoot 

I rather think Boaz saw my game then, for there 
was a leer in his eye as he walked off to do my bid- 
ding. But I thought I would reserve my confidence 
until he had accomplished this first stage of my plan. 
I was uncertain what his attitude might be. He had 
his own skin to consider, of course, and the arm of 
the Kaid of Ain Sfroo was notoriously long, as his 
wrath was consuming and ill to meet. I smoked 
quietly for half an hour, and listened to the murmurs 
of good fellowship which reached me from the guards' 
tent. The mosquitoes were exceptionally lively that 
evening, and I thought, as I brushed them from my 
forehead, of Abd el Majeed, the "dead" Sheikh. 

" Poor devil ! " I muttered. " The very next caged 
bird I see shall have the door of its prison opened 
if I can get near it." 

"The heads of mud began to snore before they 
had time to lie down," said Boaz, when, after about 
forty minutes, he returned and squatted down beside 
me. " What work is afoot ? " 

Boaz was growing elderly, but, like every other 
Arab who ever cried me " Peace ! " his appetite for 
strife and adventure was keen as a lad's. 

" Boaz," said I ; "a Sheikh of the hills is as good 
a man as any Kaid of the plains ! " 

" As any six of the plains," agreed Boaz, promptly. 


I knew, of course, that himself was of Sheshawanee, 
a hill-man to the last drop of blood in his veins. 

" Think ye that the assaseen will sleep soundly, 
Boaz ? " was my next question. 

" Not so soundly as they might if their stomachs 
tasted a mountain man's steel," answered Boaz, finger- 
ing the point of his dagger's sheath ; " but pigs and 
guards of the plains sleep ever more heavily than 
true men ; and when they wake phaa ! Thou hast 
seen how pigs are speared on the plain beyond 
Spartel ! " 

I had, and had even enjoyed a little sport with the 
lance myself; but I wanted no sticking done that 
night. After all, Raids and their guards are Raids 
and their guards ; and consuls in coast towns are not 
always upon the side of the adventurous of their 

"Two of them have mules, Boaz," said I, "and 
so do not count. The two that have horses " 

" Phaa ! Thy horse, Sidi, would leave them 
standing like trees ; pass them, and leave them, as 
the wind passes a house." 

" Ah ! That is as I thought. And the city of Al 
Rsar el Rebeer, Boaz, it is well beyond the line of 
Raid Achmet's authority no ? " 

" Ay, by two days' march." 

" Good ! Then you will make my horse ready for 
the road, good Boaz. Then bring me my Winchester, 
and we will see further." 

The horse and the gun were duly brought, and 
together we crept down toward the tent of the 
Raid's guards. We could hear them snoring from 
a hundred yards distant. Fifty paces from the tent 
I paused. 

106 MOROCCO , 

" You know exactly where the Sheikh lies, 

"As I know my father's house in Sheshawan." 

" Go there, on thy belly, cut the Sheikh clear, and 
bring him to me." 

"I go." 

I might have chosen this part of the affair myself, 
you think, since undoubtedly there was danger in it ? 
Well, yes ; but then, you see, I knew my man. Had 
I done this, and left Boaz as onlooker beside my horse, 
he would afterwards have despised me for a fool ; and 
as he was a very useful servant for travelling work in 
Morocco, I could not afford to face that contingency. 
Besides, my favourite Winchester rifle was in my 
hand, and I knew that, with absolute certainty, I 
could drop the first man who was foolish enough to 
attack Boaz ; or the first half-dozen, for that matter, 
though I had no notion of doing so if I could avoid 
it. No ; you must think what you please of it, but 
in the presence of my servants I could not afford to 
do myself "what Boaz was doing at this moment. 

Like a great lizard in the grass he slithered down 
the slope to where a slight bulge in the side of the tent 
told me the Sheikh lay. Arrived within the shadow 
of the tent, Boaz lay still for a few moments. Then 
(as I afterwards learned) *he murmured, very low, 
"Bal-ak!" Which is to say " Thy mind!" or 
" Attention !" Then, getting by way of response a 
slight movement from the recumbent figure within, 
Boaz very delicately slit the hanging lower edge of 
the tent by the Sheikh's head. In a moment the 
Sheikh's bound wrists faced him in the moonlight 
through the opening he had made. Boaz's dagger 
made short work of the wrist fastenings, and was then 


slipped into the Sheikh's outstretched right hand, for 
him to work his will upon the cord that held his 

Two minutes later and the Sheikh crawled out 
upon the grass beside Boaz. Together they pressed 
a sod down upon the severed edges of the tent flap, 
and three minutes more brought them to my side. 
The Sheikh caught my right hand in both his own, 
and I felt his moustache brush my knuckles. It was 
not as embarrassing to me as it had been when I was 
new to the East and its ways. 

"Nay, 'tis nothing, Sheikh," I told him. " Mount 
thou the horse here, and get thee to Al Ksar. Give 
this card to the English Consul there, and bide ye 
within his gates without fail, within his gates till 
I come." 

It was not the time for conversation. His beard 
brushed my hand again, and without a sound he 
swung into the saddle, walking my horse gingerly to 
win clear of earshot, past which I knew he would try 
the beast's paces well enough, in the course of, say, 
three and a half days of hard riding. There are no 
telegraph wires, police-stations, railways, turnpikes, 
or anything of that sort in Sunset Land, and the heads 
of provinces have no extradition treaties one with 
another. Even in actual warfare the bloody quarrels 
of one village are ignored utterly by soldiers and 
civilians alike in a village half-a-dozen miles distant. 
In the course of time, if Sheikh Abd el Majeed chose 
to abide in one place, some gossip from that place 
who happened to pass through the Kaid Achmet's 
domain would mention the circumstance. Then, if 
the Sheikh were worth it, the Kaid might offer his 
colleague, who ruled in the place the Sheikh had 


chosen to rest in, a share of the plunder if he would 
yield up the Sheikh's body. That Kaid would then 
approach the Sheikh and endeavour to bleed him 
privately. If the Sheikh bled satisfactorily, well and 
good. If he did not, and was suspected of possessing 
treasure somewhere, he might be seized and sent a 
prisoner to the first Kaid ; but enough has been 
said to show you that personal freedom is the main 
thing. " Put me upon a good horse with a gun in 
my hand, and you give me the key of the world and 
a passport to Paradise," says your Moor. And, in 
Sunset Land, he is in the right of it. 

Boaz and myself, we went quietly to bed. 

In the morning I woke early and smacked my 
lips. I had a zestful appetite for the new day. The 
discomfiture of our acquaintances is apt to be even 
more pleasing to us than the misfortunes of our 
friends. I thought of the probably still snoring 
guards, and I chuckled, and rolled a morning 
cigarette. I shouted to Boaz to make the tea, and 
was comfortably partaking of that beverage when the 
first awakening shout of the Raid's guards smote 
upon my ears, like the overture to a comic opera. 

Abdullah, the one-eyed captain of the guard the 
same garrulous rascal who had been spokesman 
during my visit to the tent came plunging up the 
slope, still drowsy, very much bewildered, and as 
wrathful as a bull on a hornet's nest. As a modest 
story-teller I would scorn to translate for you the 
mildest of the expressions which he expelled from 
him at intervals, as an engine getting under way 
expels steam. Interspersed among them I caught 
various not very respectful references to "Nazarenes " 
(the Christianity of a European is taken as a matter 


of course in Morocco, where national and other fine 
distinctions count for nothing), and I entertained no 
doubt but that he had his suspicions of the true state 
of the case. But suspicions without proof are not 
much to go upon in any event ; and as between a 
travelling Englishman and a soldier of the guard of 
a provincial Moorish Kaid they are less than nothing. 
I begged the one-eyed man to let me hear details of 
his trouble, and proffered him refreshment to sustain 
him in the telling withal. The good tea he waved 
from him, so to say, and proceeded, his face 
empurpling as he went, to pour abuse upon poor 

The next act in the opera showed me one-eyed 
Abdullah flying bellowing down the green slope 
toward his own tent, followed closely by Boaz, who 
was thrashing him with a shwarri-rope as he ran, and 
cursing him for the fatherless jackal of a mangy Kaid, 
lacking the valour required to guard in safety a man 
tied hand and foot. I called Boaz to heel as soon as 
I could stop laughing, and we made preparations to 
strike camp. The guards went without breaking 
their fast, and the last glimpse I had of them showed 
them ambling hurriedly along the road to Tazigah, 
upon which it may be they hoped to overtake the 
Sheikh. As I knew the Sheikh must be cantering in 
a quite opposite direction, the picture did not disturb 
me ; and for the next few days I made myself com- 
fortable, perched like a Turk atop of one of the packs 
carried by a smooth-stepping mule, a really very 
restful method of progress if a shade less dignified 
than the ordinary. The pack beneath me was as 
broad as a small dining-table, and much softer ; the 
mule knew his business better than I did, and required 


no guidance. I was no loser by the absence of my 
horse ; though of that animal itself the same could 
probably not have been said. 

I found the Sheikh in the English Consul's fandak 
at Al Ksar, with my horse. It seemed his feeling for 
me was still informed by a lively sense of gratitude, 
and when he heard that I was for Tangier, the Sheikh 
announced, in the most matter-of-course way, his 
intention of accompanying me. As it happened, I 
was further bound for England, home and creditors 
at the time ; and so, I thought, the Sheikh and myself 
would very soon be parting company in any case. 
But imperious Chance, who guides the feet of fools, 
and others, was minded otherwise, or these lines had 
never been written. 

I spent four days in infidel-afflicted Tangier, 
during which time the Sheikh hovered about me in a 
half-paternal, half-dependent manner which the veriest 
boor had found it hard to resent, assisting me in the 
task of getting together my various belongings, and 
as I discovered very much to my astonishment upon 
my last night in Tangier sleeping upon the mat at 
my bedroom door. Next morning I waited until the 
little steamer which was to convey me to Gibraltar 
had gotten up her steam and was ready for departure, 
and then sallied forth to the Custom-house, followed 
by the Sheikh, Boaz, and a line of laden donkeys. 

My baggage had all passed the drowsy eyes of the 
gorgeous magnates who sit in the place of fraud and 
peculation at Tangier, or I thought so, and a man 
came running to inform me that I had not a moment 
to spare if I was to catch the boat. Then an elderly 
dignitary in robes of orange and violet awoke abruptly 
from his doze and ordered a couple of porters to open 


a packing-case of books and curios and other odd- 
ments, which up till that moment I had overlooked. 
I made my salaams to the dignitary and assured him 
that the contents of the case were worthless. He 
waved me from him, as I had been a puff of cigarette 
smoke. The case was opened and my poor treasures 
scattered far and wide. 

" The Nazarene must wait till another day ; these 
matters must be looked into carefully," murmured the 
dignitary, with the air of one who felt that for him to 
speak at all was an act of ineffable condescension. 

I strayed from the path of wisdom and spoke 
sharply ; not abusively, you understand, but brusquely, 
and with reference to the catching of a boat in 
Gibraltar. It was more than enough to damn my 
case, it seemed. It may be the dignitary had taken 
an over-dose of the shameful (kief-smoke) on the pre- 
vious evening. At all events he turned his head aside 
languidly and muttered something to a colleague 
about the illegitimacy and pig-like nature of Christians 
in general, and of myself in particular. Unfortun- 
ately the Sheikh, who stood beside me, caught the 

" Dog, and thrice-damned son of a dog ! " he 
bellowed. And, as he bounded forward, I saw his 
eighteen - inch curved dagger flash out from its 
scabbard. A long, heavy table separated the officials 
from ourselves, the herd. I sprang at the Sheikh's 
fluttering garments to hold him back. A dozen 
porters leaped in his way as he growled out another 
withering curse upon the progeny and the ancestry 
of the portly administrator behind the table. 

" Hold that pig's son ! " spluttered the official. A 
colleague leaned over and whispered to him. "The 


Kaid of Ain Sfroo will pay a hundred dollars for that 
dog's body. Hold him ! " he yelled. 

There was not much time for thought. I could 
not afford to lose my boat. It was certain death for 
the Sheikh to be left behind ; that I well knew, for 
who may oppose a Customs Administrator in the port 
of Tangier ? None of them would dare to lay hand 
upon me. 

" Come ! " I whispered, behind the Sheikh. " Run 
with me for your life ! " Trust in me and, I think, 
obedience to me had become an instinct with this 
man. He turned on the instant, and together we 
raced down the pier to where a small boat lay piled 
high with my baggage. We were followed hotly by at 
least fifty Moors. Down the steps we cluttered, after 
upsetting the elderly official who wished to collect toll 
from us at the pier-head. We had no time for paying 

" Out oars and pull for your life ! " I shouted to the 
boatmen. " Five dollars for you if you catch the 
steamer ! " 

I could hear the cable creaking in the rusty hawse- 
pipe of the little steamer. The skipper was an old 
friend of mine. 

" Get under way, Cap'en!" said I, the moment 
we touched the steamer's deck. " The boat's moored 
alongside. They'll be able to pick up my baggage all 

And he did it like a Briton ; and the small flotilla 
that had put out after us was a good mile astern when 
my last bag was thrown aboard. I gave those boat- 
men seven dollars ; and they could and would plead 
ignorance of the whole business when they returned 
to the shore and the Custom-house. 


T) ROGRESSING downward from those castle- 

X dwelling feudal lords of Morocco, the governors 

of provinces, one finds every city with its Basha (from 

the Turkish bash dghd, or chief administrator), who is 

assisted by a lieutenant (khaleefa), who, again, looks to 

ijfour m'kaddams, or foremen, one of whom is re- 
sponsible for the supervision of each quarter of the 
own. The Basha holds open court each day, from 
ix or seven till nine or ten o'clock in the morning, 

and from three to six afternoon, with a Sabbath 
lalf-holiday on Fridays. His court may be held in 
he city kasbah, or under an awning before his door, 
or, as I have seen it in sundry lesser towns, in a miry 
stableyard. In either case, the Basha sits or reclines 
upon cushions, a taleb or scribe near by, and the 
)ropitiating gifts of litigants, from a loaf of sugar or 
packet of candles to a bag of dollars, ranged 
suggestively behind him. A few of his soldiers 
generally the most unashamed rascals in the town) 
are always within hail, for, in the midst of a heated 
argument, or when presents come in but poorly, 
the Basha is apt to order a general thwacking to be 
administered on the spot, or to bundle everyone 
concerned in the case before him off to prison, there 
to cool their heels and minds, and reflect upon the 
evils of litigiousness. 

No record is ever kept of punishments adminis- 
H 113 


tered, and the judge rarely mentions any term in 
ordering a man to prison. His power is absolute and 
unquestioned, in all penalties save that of death, for 
which the Sultan's order has to be obtained. The 
Basha deals with all important cases in which 
bribing upon anything like a large scale will be in- 
volved ; whilst petty cases, street troubles and the 
like, in which defendants and plaintiffs are not ex- 
pected to make presents of many shillings in value, 
come before the Khaleefa's court. This is an even less 
ceremonious temple of injustice than the Basha's 
court, but its hours and methods are very similar. 
From careful observation in the courts of various 
Khaleefas, I have come to believe that the scales are 
held evenly enough, to this extent, that accused and 
accuser, plaintiff and defendant, occupy much the 
same positions, and run much the same risks in an 
average case tried before Basha or Khaleefa. The 
presents from both sides being equal in value, the 
plaintiff is at least as likely to go to gaol as is hisj 
opponent, and an even more probable contingency is 
that the pair of them will be bundled off together. 
Now, the suggestion thus conveyed, the moral urged is 
excellent : don't go to law ; and it is needed, for all 
Orientals are given over much to litigation. 

Seriously considered, however, one is bound to' 
admit that the Moorish courts are veritable sinks of 
chicanery, corruption and venal paltering with the 
country's curse of palm oil. When a Moor really 
desires justice in a vital matter, vengeance upon a^ 
murderer, or an adulterer, he sharpens his dagger,; 
primes his flint-lock, invokes God's blessing upon his 
errand, and sets out to combine the offices of judge 
and executioner in his own person by slaying the 


offender. His right to do this is recognised ; indeed, 
such a course is expected of him, though the accept- 
ance of blood-money is allowed at times to wipe out a 
blood feud. 

In every town there is one other court of a more 
formal sort, wherein a more life-like simulacrum of 
iustice obtains, and wakels or attorneys ply their 
vexatious craft. This is the Kadi's court, and the 
Kadi is by way of being a law lord and registrar- 
general rather than a criminal judge ; he is a more or 
less ecclesiastical civilian, and not a kaid, or militant 
power. Here all documents are drawn up by dul, or 
notaries ; there is a Kadi's fee attaching to every seal 
and signature, and the traffic in " presents " is com- 
paratively inconsiderable, and not open. A Kadi may 
not send a man to prison for more than three days 
without providing a written statement of his offence 
and sentence. He may not order fetters, flogging or 
torture, and his decisions must always be written. 
This is the theory. As a fact, any man of standing 
may have an unprotected Moor imprisoned for almost 
any length of time, or beaten, within safe limits, by 
means of communicating his desire, with material 
compliments, to the Basha. 

" I sent that rascal up to the kasbah to be flogged 
this morning. He had been tampering with . . . 

That is a remark which the present writer has 
heard more than once upon the lips of European 
residents in Moorish ports. There is a European 
consul in Morocco to-day who had his Moorish 
j servant well beaten, and kept (on the raw edge of 
starvation) in prison for exactly one year, as punish- 
ment for having plucked and eaten a ripe pear grow- 



ing in an uncultivated garden that belonged to the 
consul. In this case the whole and sole ceremony of 
evidence, trial, sentence and the rest was crowded into 
one three-line note from Christian Consul to Muslim 
Basha : <c Oblige me by " doing this thing ; and it 
was done. 

In my diary of an early visit to Tangier I find 
quite a good deal of space devoted to the matter of 
Bashas' courts and so forth. Perhaps I took Oriental 
venality a little too seriously at that time. But the 
entry is descriptive, and it shall be given here for that 


I FIND that the presence of a Nazarene, particu- 
larly one of my kidney (known here as a 
"scribe and a maker of devil business in books"), is 
apt to hamper the progress of injustice in the 
Khaleefa's court. I found his worship inclined to 
look in my direction and then to temper glaring 
roguery and tyranny with slow, benevolent smiles of 
Oriental suavity. At first I liked to think that in this 
place my presence served to temper injustice to the 
shorn, gaunt wretches who figured at the court. A 
little inquiry and observation robbed me of this 
soothing unction. The event, I found, was quite 
unaltered. All the change I brought was a very 
slight glozing, a little courteous veiling of the surface 
corruption. And this was by no means what I 

So I took Abd es Selam into my confidence, not 
for the first time. I sauntered in the locality like an 
anxious litigant ; Selam looked into court and 
listened, with sleepy, careless eyes. I received my 
reports toward tiffin-time, when the Khaleefa retired 
for his siesta. There was a marked sameness, a quite 
tiresome monotony, about this morning's cases. This 
I noticed. Seven cases were of the order in which 
one man lays a complaint against another. Four 
out of the seven ended in the complainant being 
dragged off to prison, whilst the defendant stalked 



abroad, a free and most complaisant man. In those 
four cases complainant had prefaced his plaint by a 
small present of groceries. Defendant, on the other 
hand, in each of these four cases, had laid coin of the 
realm, in a paper, at the Khaleefa's feet. Food is 
cheap here. His worship prefers coin. 

Lack of space hampers me, but one specimen case 
I must tell of here. 

Mohamet, a Tangier Moor, appeared in the: 
Khaleefate and complained that Cassim, Riffi, had 
man-handled him in the open market. Mohamet 
desired that Cassim might be beaten in the kasbah 
for this. At the same time he placed four packets of 
candles and three dollars, a very respectable gift, on a 
mat beside the Khaleefa. His worship grunted 
affably and sent two soldiers for Cassim. Mohamet 
waited to watch events. A man of experience is 
Mohamet. Cassim presently appeared, a splendid 
specimen of a mountain man, with wild eyes which he 
kept downcast. And that was the loss of him ; for, 
even in Mohamet's presence, his eyes might have 
telegraphed the Khaleefa promise of a bribe. This 
is quite a customary method. However, Cassim 
obstinately eyed the floor. Seeing, therefore, that he 
had an obdurate rascal to deal with, the Khaleefa 
sighed (he naturally prefers a bribe from both 
sides) and, without a question of any sort, said to 

" So, dog, you will fall upon good Muslim in here in 
Tangier and beat them, eh ? " Then, to the soldiers : 
<c Take him to the prison and scourge him well two 
hundred strokes. Leave him there.'' 

This quotation is unadorned and as literal as I 
can make it. Cassim was led away, too proud to 


speak. I rode after him toward the prison. My man 
remained in the court. 

Just as we reached the prison's outer courtyard 
a soldier overtook us, breathless, and followed closely 
by my Moor. We were ordered back to court. On 
the way Abd es Selam fell back and explained to 
me. CassinYs uncle, it appeared, was a man of some 
substanpe, and the owner of many mules. He had 
arrived at court five minutes after Cassim's start from 
thence for the prison. He had spoken with the 
Khaleefa, and Selam had watched him count out 
twelve dollars into his worship's hand. On our 
return I entered the court at Cassim's heels. This 
is what passed. 

The Khaleefa, good-humouredly : " How is this, 
Riffi (Cassim) ? How comes it you did not tell me 
you had not truly beaten Mohamet?" Cassim, the 
Riffi, sulkily : " Lord, why should I talk of such 
cattle ? The beating that I gave him was " 

The Khaleefa: c< Eh, eh;*shwei, shwei ! This 
my court is not the market-place. I cannot have so 
much noise. Go away, all of you ! " 

" But, Lord " began complainant Mohamet. 

" Outside! Away with you, I say! Go and talk 
to the Kadi." (That is, go and hold your peace; 
for the Kadi has no jurisdiction in such cases.) So 
the Riffi swaggered out into the sunshine, and 
Mohamet, crestfallen, followed him, doubtless medi- 
tating a fresh scheme of revenge, in which he would 
be more careful in the matter of out-bribing his 
enemy. As a fact, by the way, Cassim is a truculent 
fellow, and he had rather severely mauled the puling 
Tangier man, more out of bravado than from any 
other motive. An inconsiderable affair, truly, but 


it must have been fifteen dollars in the worthy 
Khaleefa's pocket, and it may serve as a fair 
illustration of Moorish methods in matters big 
and little where the administration of justice is 


VILLAGES and small towns in Morocco are 
administered by sheikhs, or elders, and all 
property of mosques, shrines, receptacles for pious offer- 
ings and the like, are under the control of special 
officials. Such an officer is called a madhir, and he is 
generally an interested party in at least one law-suit, 
for the Church of Islam, like the Church in Western 
communities, has always been inclined to extend its 
boundaries, and to " creep in " upon the lands and 
belongings of individuals, to use a phrase which will 
crop up in dealing with Morocco, while yet the 
country remains unabsorbed by its neighbour, 
Algeria. Village administration illustrates clearly 
how, down to the smallest detail, the feudal and the 
tribal spirits rule in Morocco. The inhabitants of 
every village are responsible to their sheikh, he to 
the nearest basha, who answers to the governor of the 
province, who again is responsible to the goverment 
for robbery or other loss by whosoever caused in the 
neighbourhood of that village. Indeed, the trades- 
men in a city street are held liable in the event of 
robbery or damage in their neighbourhood, and if a 
foreigner is maltreated or loses property in an affray 
(often brought about by his own ignorance or insol- 
ence), and his consul claims damages from the 
Moorish Goverment, it is the residents of the street 
in which the trouble occurred, be they the poorest 



and least guilty in the city, who have to suffer and 

Touching two widely different classes of foreigners 

this system produces two bad results. Putting 
foreigners out of the question, it is well enough 
adapted to the usages of the community by which it 
was evolved. The first kind of outlander allows 
natural kindliness to over-rule his citizen sense, and, 
well knowing that complaint and the claiming of 
damages will bring suffering upon innocent persons, 
allows himself, as ill-luck directs, to be robbed or 
assaulted without taking any steps to obtain redress. 
The second sort, a disgrace to Western civilisation, 
allows mercenary greed to swamp common honesty 
and common humanity, and, when robbed of a 
sovereign, claims a ^100, and even, failing a 
convenient pretext, invents, or arranges, a sham 
assault or robbery to serve as ground upon which to 
lay a claim against the Moorish Government, and 
thus afflict a section of the Moorish community by 
oppression and extortion. 

The writer could name at this moment a Christian 
(in Morocco all foreigners are " Christians" 
Nazarenes or "Jews" Htidis) the son of a 
European merchant of some standing, who, within the 
past three years, robbed the Moorish Government and 
people in this way of some hundreds of pounds say 
^400 well knowing that the villagers that were 
harassed, or, in Moorish phrase, u squeezed," to 
provide this basis of three months' dissipated living 
for him were gaunt, country Moors with whom life 
was an unceasing fight for bare sustenance. This 
Christian was of the type whose members earn the 
reputation of being good fellows, genial, happy-go- 


lucky, hearty dogs, liberal with their money in bar- 
rooms, and jovially lewd in conversation. He care- 
fully planned his make-believe robbery with the rascally 
Tangerine Moor who accompanied him as servant 
upon a short journey inland. Two days before the 
event he borrowed ten dollars and a shirt from a 
friend of mine whose hospitality he abused in an 
inland town. His every action, during weeks 
previous to this, had bespoken unmistakable impecuni- 
osity. His entire caravan had scarcely brought him 
a hundred depreciated Spanish dollars if put up to 
auction in Tangier Sok. Yet his claim for goods and 
money stolen from his tent was fixed at 3000 of those 
dollars, and, after the usual delays, he actually 
received $1800 or about ^300 sterling. 

This man, with his rascally servant and their 
company, camped outside a village, which only respect 
for the law that makes the telling of some truths 
libellous prevents my naming here. The sheikh of 
that village, acting upon the Arab code of hospitality, 
sent out the half of a sheep, tea, candles and 
other small matters for the stranger, with whom, to 
his credit be it said, he had absolutely nothing in 
common. The sham robbery, with all the requisite 
accessories of revolver-shooting and the like, was 
brought off toward morning. A few months later 
that hospitable sheikh was visited by Government 
soldiery, who stripped the village of money, food, 
stock and all else upon which money might be raised, 
obtaining the equivalent of perhaps $4000, of 
which close upon 2000 reached the consul whose 
misfortune it was to have for fellow-countryman the 
Christian hero of this sordid escapade. 

One wishes it might fairly be added that such 


despicable abuses were rare in Morocco. Unfoftu- | 
nately the facts forbid such a commentary. On the 
contrary, the conclusion one is regretfully forced to by 
study of the relations of Europeans and Moors in | 
Morocco is that upon the whole these relations have 
bred deterioration on both sides, and that most 
notably upon the professedly superior side. 

No European resident who has learned to know 
Morocco cares to have for servant, or as member of 
his household in any capacity whatever, a Moor who 
has been brought into sufficiently intimate relations 
with foreigners to have acquired knowledge of a foreign 
tongue ; no Moor in Morocco is rated so low by his 
own countrymen, and by foreigners, as the Tangier 
Moor ; and rightly so. (Tangier is, of course, the 
most Christianised town in the country ; the only 
town, in fact, in which foreign influences have obtained 
any appreciable hold.) There can be no blinking the 
tendencies evidenced by these facts. A dozen others, 
equally suggestive, could be cited by any observant 
student of the country and its institutions. European 
standards of right will never be adopted by the Moors, 
nor yet by any other of those Eastern peoples whose 
codes were a fixed part of their civilisation while yet 
half-naked savages worshipped stocks and stones in 
the future home of the Church of England. 

The virtues of the Moors, or, to fit Christendom's 
standpoint, let us say the best gifts of the Moors, will 
never be acquired by the Europeans who come into 
touch with them, for the reason that the product of 
Western civilisation has little use for these gifts, and 
would find them as ill-fitting as suits of mail or any 
other part of the panoply of bygone days. On the 
other hand, men's vices are infectious and make 


mock of racial bars. The Moors, a decadent nation, 
find it easy to slip into habits unwholesome even for 
the Europeans who introduce them, deadly for the 
unaccustomed Moors who are infected by them. The 
Westerners, a pushful and a masterful people, find it 
difficult to hold their own in a country populated 
by men naturally cunning and unrestrained by the 
scruples which go to make up the Western code of 
honour difficult, if not impossible, without resorting 
to the weapons of their opponents. Now, the use of 
those weapons, of cunning, intrigue and fatalistic 
complaisance, whilst natural and fitting for a Moor 
among Moors, means a descent into something like 
criminality for a man of Western faith and up-bring- 
ing. And hence the deterioration upon the Christian 
side which comes of Moorish-European commercial 

In such matters one speaks of broad results, 
putting aside isolated cases and individual peculiar- 
ities which make for exceptions to all general rules. 
It is nothing to do with race or religion ; it is only 
the curse of the money-hunt that is at the root of 
this deterioration you notice," said a European 
diplomatist to the present writer. But I think the 
diplomatist was at fault. The curse of the money- 
hunt is over all the civilised earth ; it is but one of the 
touchstones, the dangerous points of contact in the 
corrosive friction referred to here. The fact is that 
among civilised communities the great majority are 
centred upon the money-hunt. It is so, also, in the 
little European community in Morocco. The money- 
hunt and the restless energy which spurs men to it 
are integral parts of Western civilisation. Broadly 
speaking, the great mass of Europeans are engaged 


always in the endeavour to make profit one from out 
another. The description holds good as applied to 
the most of Europeans in Morocco, where a white 
man needs must be either a consul or a trader. And 
that kind of commerce which in Europe is called 
legitimate, the most honourable sorts of trafficking, 
would certainly not prove profitable in Morocco. 
Yet the men of Europe are not wont to engage 
persistently in unprofitable commerce. The true 
deduction is obvious. 

But the deteriorating influence goes farther, and 
even the few who are not, primarily at all events, 
interested in the money-hunt can seldom altogether 
escape it, though, in the case of this small section, 
honour may go unscathed ; the man moral may hold 
his own ; the man emotional, in nine cases out of ten, 
must suffer. Morocco is nominally an independent 
realm. European notions of right and wrong, 
humanity and inhumanity, cannot therefore be upheld 
or enforced in Morocco. A European resident of 
the country is brought daily into contact with cases 
which, judged by his standards, display gross in- 
humanity and criminal immorality. His attitude 
toward these things must needs be one of protest and 
opposition, or of silent contempt. Now, silent 
contempt is apt to lapse into indifference, and in- 
difference soon becomes something like tacit approval ; 
and that spells, at least, emotional deterioration for 
the individual. Active protest, on the other hand, 
while Morocco remains the Moorish Empire, means 
broken health, broken fortune, shattered nerves and 
failure, probable exile from the country, certain 

These are not pleasing statements to make, and 


as only actual experience can convince the average 
man of their truth, the making of them is an un- 
grateful task, and a painful one to boot, for a lover 
of Morocco. But they are true, and, making them 
here, the lover of Morocco who writes these lines is 
reminded of many a tale that would demonstrate 
the truth of them clearly enough. But such tales 
are all of wrong-doing, of cruelty and of deterioration. 
They are sordid stories, both those that tell of white 
men's treachery to the ideals of their race and those 
that show how contact with our belauded civilisation 
has corroded the souls and enfeebled the bodies of 
fine, lusty young semi-savages among the mountain 
men of Sunset Land. I had liefer tell you of 
exceptions, I think. 

You remember the young Sheikh of Tazigah, 
Abd el Majeed, who unsuccessfully endeavoured to 
skewer a portly Customs administrator in the 
supposed interests of a fellow-countryman of my 
own ? That same friend of mine has written down 
for me some few of the Sheikh's experiences in 
England after they left Tangier together. I must 
give you these. 


WHEN Sheikh Abd el Majeed landed with me 
from the P. & O. boat at the docks in 
London I felt constrained to point out to him that 
the London Customs authorities were neither tyrants 
nor brigands, that they would not insult or prey upon 
us, and that a new arrival must by no means draw 
dagger upon them. I remembered our adventure 
beside the old pier at Tangier, you see, and knew of 
the deadly-curved weapon, with its sheath and hilt of 
fretted silver, that hung by a rope of green silk under 
Majeed's left arm-pit. His snowy djellab covered 
all, however, and gave him the most innocent sort of 

An apter hand at picking up a language than my 
friend, Sheikh Abd el Majeed, I have yet to meet. 
Already, though it was less than a week since our 
victorious, if not very dignified, departure from 
Morocco, he had quite a good deal of English, and 
was able to make himself understood in the most 
masterful speech known to Christendom not with 
fluency, of course, but sufficiently. Vegetables were 
always " keftables " with Majeed, and breakfast was 
"brefkiss" ; bullocks or cows were " catties," and the 
flesh of his body was Majeed's "meat." But what 
would you ? He could ask for what he wanted in 
this life, and his dignity was such that if he had had 
to chase his fez along the gutter on a windy day and 



apologise for knocking over an apple-woman in the 

chase, I am convinced that he could and would have 

accomplished it without turning a hair or appearing in 

he least ridiculous. It is a singular thing, that; 

)ut you may put a Moorish gentleman in any sort of 

)osition or predicament that you shall choose, and 

lowever absurd it be he will never look less than a 

Moorish gentleman, which is to say a monument of 

eposeful dignity. 

My people were somewhat astonished when I 

arrived at the dear old place at Crookham Highlow 

vith the Sheikh. He created something of a 

ensation at Crookham station, with his bare, corn- 

oloured legs, and his vivid, lemon-coloured slippers 

,nd flowing robes. The rumour went abroad that I 

lad brought an Indian prince home with me (there 

re a number of retired Anglo-Indian officials in the 

Drookham district, and the village prides itself upon 

ts Eastern lore), and all the callers at the Hall were 

nxious to see Abd el Majeed. I was glad to be 

iome again for a while despite the pile of bills 

bat lay on the table in my den ; and the first evening 

tands out clearly in my recollection a cheery 

icture to keep in one's mind to look at on cloudy 

ays, or when the thread of one's affairs grows more 

ban ordinarily twisted. 

We sat in the big hall, where a low fire smouldered 

n the hearth though summer was at hand. My 

ather smoked his cigar in his favourite great oak 

hair, with the ecclesiastical-looking wings, which I 

Iways said made it remind one of a sacristy. My 

nother was on the couch beside the chimney ; my 

ttle sister Betty (there were never but the two of 

s in our family) was curled upon a cushion at my 



feet, giving me the news of the year and the gossip of 
the parish ; and at the foot of the stairs, where a broad 
ray of light from the staircase window told us the 
moon was almost as its full, Sheikh Abd el Majeed 
squatted in his snowy robes, fingering a gimbri he 
had brought with him, and supplying for me the 
Oriental and picturesque element required to make 
our little picture perfect. A gimbri, you must know, 
is a queer, melodious little instrument much in 
favour among all sorts and conditions of Moors, and 
not unlike a mandolin. 

Long after our father and mother had left us for 
the night, I lounged there, and smoked and listened! 
to Betty's chat, and watched the moonlight stroking 
Majeed's scarlet fez, with its long, dark blue tassel.) 
It seemed we were all going to Harborough in a 
days, to spend a week with old friends, the Stuart- j 
Grahams, who were giving a grand ball in honour ol 
the coming of age of their only daughter, Elsie, wh< 
had been a sweetheart of mine when we were both! 
children and the Stuart-Grahams had lived in Crook- 
ham Highlow. Betty was madly excited at the prospect,] 
and I gathered that the reason of her rejoicing was 
that a certain Lieutenant Foster of the nth Hussars,! 
a man I had never met, would be one of our fellow-j 
guests at Frampton House, the Stuart-Grahams' 
place. This Lieutenant Foster had met Betty atl 
Cowes, it seemed, and had subsequently spent a week 
or two with his mother, I understood, at our place, 
when the house had been full of visitors. Of course,, 
little Betty did not tell me the thing in so many| 2 
words, but I could plainly see she was as much inj 
love with the Lieutenant as a girl dare be before al 
man proposes to her ; and I mentally prayed thatm 


Foster might prove a decent sort, whilst promising 
myself to make his acquaintance and keep a very 
sharp eye on the young man. 

" I'm a selfish beggar to remain away from home 
so much," I told myself. 

A couple of days later I had a note from Elsie 
Stuart-Graham, saying she was delighted to hear of 
my return in time for her ball, and that she had heard 
rom Betty of my " quite delightful Moor ! " I was to 

very sure and bring Abd el Majeed with me, a 
room would be set apart for him (as a fact, he always 
nsisted on sleeping at my door) and he would 
certainly prove the chief attraction of the week ; and, 
inally, the writer was, in inverted commas, affection- 
ately my " Elskins " the name I had bestowed upon 
ler when we were children together, and now had 
not heard for at least thirteen or fourteen years. She 
lad been but seven years old when I was twelve. 

Accordingly, then, we started in the old landau 
next morning for the Stuart-Grahams, the distance 
was no more than twenty-eight miles, so we were to 
drive, sending the horses back on the following day. 
My father held that the railway was a useful 
nstitution for the transport of one's luggage, but that 
t was no <c conveyance for a gentleman, sir, while 
there is a decent pair of horses in the land " Sheikh 
Abd el Majeed, attired resplendently, and gravely 
ingering his rosary, sat beside old Sparrow, our 
coachman, on the box, and viewed the country round 
ndulgently, as one who, being himself of the Faith, 
and sure of a superfine pavilion in Paradise, could 
afford to overlook small discrepancies in the lives and 
properties of unbelieving and less-favoured mortals 
lere upon earth. I afterwards ascertained that he 


treated Sparrow to a lengthy dissertation upon the 
art of driving and the general management of horses ; 
Majeed, who, though a perfect horseman, had never | 
seen a vehicle or harness in his life until a week , 
before this day. And the odd thing about it was that I 
old Sparrow, the most autocratic of coachmen, took it [ 
all in good part, and expressed great good feeling and ? 
admiration where the Sheikh was concerned. This j 
may have been partly owing to the fact that he I 
understood no more than about twenty per cent, of j 
what the Moor said. But it was doubtless also ( 
owing, in part, to the extreme charm and dignity of I 
the Sheikh's manner and bearing. 

The ball took place on the night following that of I 
our arrival at Frampton House, and, for a reason that [ 
will afterwards appear, my dear little sister Betty 
went to bed with tears in her blue eyes when all was 
over, and I went cursing Lieutenant Foster, and 
longing unreasonably for an excuse to pull his nose 
without involving my sister. And that was not at 
all as it should have been in a house full of happy 
guests, bent seriously upon no other thing than 

Elsie, the daughter of the house, in whose honour 
all this jollification was, created quite a sensation, and 
was acknowledged a beauty. Her demeanour was 
quite charming, but I had no eyes for that, being 
occupied with my little sister's distress about the 
confounded Lieutenant. To be sure, everybody was 
smitten by the charms of Elsie ; but to my unreason- 
able brother's mind it did appear that Lieutenant 
Foster had no earthly right to share the common fate, 
or to number himself so obsequiously among the 
beauty's court. He must have given Betty good 


grounds for entertaining toward him the feelings she 
had, I thought ; and so Confound the man ! he 
deserved horse-whipping for bringing tears to her 
eyes by joining the throng that paid court to Elsie. 
Feeling all this as I did, I hardly exchanged a dozen 
words with "Elskins" myself, though she did give 
me several opportunities. 

When Elsie's health was drunk, all standing at 
supper, I am bound to say I think I never saw a 
woman, young or old, look more radiantly beautiful. 
She was exquisitely dressed in some mysterious 
white material, and upon her head she wore the 
famous Stuart-Graham tiara, given her that day by 
her father, the General. Now, you have probably 
heard of the Stuart-Graham tiara everyone has ; but 
unless you have held it in your hand you can hardly 
hope to realise what a superb thing it is, with the 
great Rajput diamond blazing out of its centre like 
the eye of some wondrous genie of Eastern story. 
How the General became possessed of this historic 
gem I cannot say ; but I know that experts call it the 
seventh jewel in the world, and I should call it the 
most wonderful thing of its sort I ever saw. General 
Stuart-Graham was for years Commander-in-Chief at 
the court of the Rajput Maharajah of Jeysulmeer, but 
it was certainly wonderful that he should have become 
the owner of the famous Jeysulmeer diamond. How- 
ever, it was his, and it served to make the otherwise 
beautiful Stuart-Graham tiara a crown of exceeding 
glory ; just as the tiara served to make an otherwise 
beautiful maiden a queen of exceeding loveliness on 
the night of Elsie's ball. The Stuart-Graham 
champagne was well enough, as '84 Pommery must 
needs be, but it seemed that Elsie and her tiara 


turned the heads of the men, quite apart from her 
father's excellent wine. 

"And to think that if I only had diamonds like 
Elsie's, Lieutenant to think Oh, how I wish her 
diamonds were mine ! " half sobbed poor little Betty 
when I walked with her as far as her door after the 
ball. Behind us stalked the Sheikh. In some 
mysterious way of his own he seemed to have 
grasped the inwardness of the situation. 

" Lalla," said he, as he bade my sister good-night 
(he always addressed Betty and my mother in this 
way, as "Lady") "we are in Allah's hands, and 
truly only He knows." He lapsed into Arabic, 
looking to me for interpretation. "If it be written 
that you should have such jewels, you will certainly 
have them. In any case, all will be well for you. 
Therefore, grieve not. We are in God's hands/' 

And so we parted for the night, the Sheikh 
following me as usual to my room. There I left him, 
however, having an itching desire to see more of the 
man who had made my sister so unhappy. I knew 
the lieutenant had made for the big smoking-room, so 
I betook myself thither for a final smoke, bent upon 
making some study of the man. If he seemed to me 
the mere trifler that I suspected he was, I intended 
that our acquaintance should not be a very agreeable 
one for him. 

Several guests left the house on the following 
morning, and workmen were about the hall and 
staircase, removing decorations of a temporary 
character which had been arranged for the ball. We, 
however, were to remain for another two or three days, 
and so was Lieutenant Foster. I noticed that he 
strolled out into the garden with Elsie soon after 


breakfast, and Betty's eyes met mine, sadly, as the 
two disappeared from view. 

" Hang the man ! " I muttered ; and, lighting a 
cigar, started with Betty, followed as usual by Sheikh 
Abd el Majeed, to see the kennels. The General 
kept a pack of otter hounds, and his kennels were 

A few minutes before luncheon, when most of the 
household were gathered together in the hall, we all 
became aware (I was never sure exactly how the 
news arrived) that something serious had happened. 
For some little time there was muttering, and running 
to and fro, and a general buzz of uneasiness, without 
anyone appearing to know precisely what the trouble 
was. Then the General came marching out of the 
library, and ran upstairs, taking three steps in one, 
with never a word to the rest of us. Half a minute 
later Mrs Stuart-Graham announced that the famous 
tiara, containing the Jeysulmeer diamond, the seventh 
jewel in the world, had been stolen from Elsie's bed- 
room. She used the word "lost," but one does not 
drop famous tiaras under corners of one's carpets. 

If one of the guests in the house had been killed 
it could hardly have created more of a sensation, or 
spread more gloom over the house. We all knew 
that this was no ordinary misfortune, and that the loss 
of this tiara was the loss of a fortune from the 
monetary standpoint, and of a historic treasure apart 
from its mere selling value. It was one of those 
events which are a little too serious to talk about, and 
which yet cannot be overlooked in talk with those 
concerned. Before the dinner-hour arrived we were 
all feeling this so strongly that the guests decided in 
a body to curtail their visits and leave on the following 


day. Some, in fact, left that evening, Lieutenant 
Foster among them ; and my father telegraphed for 
his horses during the afternoon, and decided that we 
should set out homewards next morning. 

In the meantime the General received the following 
telegraphic message from Scotland Yard in reply to 
one he had sent off as soon as the loss was dis- 
covered : 

" Two men on way to your house. Please detain 
everybody in house." 

"Well, that is all right," said the General, a man 
very loyal to his class and to his friends. " No one 
has left except er except our own that is to say, 
only our friends have left the house to-day. There 
are a good many work- folk about, and those can wait 
till these police fellows come." An order was given 
that no servant was to leave the premises, and we 
settled down for an evening of chill discomfort. 

At six o'clock the detectives arrived, and it was 
explained to us that the boxes of all the servants were 
to be examined, and that therefore, as a matter of form, 
the General would be obliged if we would allow the 
detectives to go through our baggage. 

" It's rather ridiculous and a nuisance, of course," 
the old gentleman explained, nervously. " But these 
fellows have their own methods, and they won't do 
anything if one interferes ; so I hope you will excuse 
it. The Jeysulmeer simply must be found." 

Altogether, it was a very dismal evening, and 
matters were in no way enlivened by the detective's 
announcement, towards ten o'clock that evening, that 
they had as yet found no clue to go upon. The little 


telegraph station at Harborough was kept busy that 
evening, and detailed descriptions of the tiara, and of 
the famous diamond, were placed with the police 
throughout the kingdom, and with all the diamond- 
dealers of note on both sides of the Channel. The 
poor old General grew more nervous and irritable as 
time wore on, and whilst exceedingly sorry for him, I 
am bound to say that I was very thankful to see 
Sparrow with the bays and the old landau drawn up 
before the terrace next morning. Elsie I had hardly 
spoken to since the trouble began. I knew that she 
was dreadfully upset about it, and blamed herself 
greatly for having been the unwitting cause of what, 
from her father's point of view, was nothing less than 
a calamity. It seemed she had left the gorgeous 
thing in a drawer of her wardrobe instead of locking 
it in the heavy little fire-proof safe which her careful 
father had had placed in her dressing-room to receive it. 
I felt sorry for Elsie when she bade me an almost 
tearful good-bye. And so I think did my sister Betty, 
despite her soreness in the matter of her Lieutenant, a 
soreness which I shared, so to say, vicariously. 

"Good-bye, Elskins!" said I, with what I meant 
to be as cheering a smile as possible. " Don't think 
too much about the Jeysulmeer. I am sure it will be 
found soon. It's too gorgeous for a thief to dispose 
of. And anyhow, you will always be charming 
without it." 

And she was charming, too, I thought, as she 
looked up at me through lashes that were suspiciously 

Betty had her own private trouble, and my father 
and mother, and myself, too, for that matter, were 
pretty fully, and not cheerfully, occupied with thoughts 


of the Stuart-Grahams' loss. Sparrow had, of course, 
heard the news, and felt called upon to wear a most 
funereal expression in consequence. Only Sheikh 
Abd el Majeed was unaffected by the trouble in the 
air, and he alone of our party smiled serenely upon 
the circumambient country from his seat upon the 
box. Tiaras were nothing to the Sheikh. He had 
that within which passeth show, and was convinced 
that the houris who would attend him in Paradise 
would bear about them jewels, the smallest fragment 
of which would infinitely transcend anything that 
mere unbelievers could even dream of seeing, not to 
mention possessing, here on earth. 

We reached the Hall in time for afternoon tea, and 
I saw nothing of the Sheikh until I went to my room 
to dress for dinner. There I found him, squatting 
upon a West African leopard skin, and idly strum- 
ming at his gimbri, his face a picture of serene felicity. 
I had just finished dressing, and was in the act of 
lighting a before-dinner cigarette to take with the 
glass of sherry which el Majeed had brought me, 
when I heard a little scream from the adjoining apart- 
ment, which was my sister Betty's dressing-room. A 
moment later, and, with the merest pretence of a 
knock at my door, Betty was beside me, gasping from 
astonishment and holding before her, as it might be a 
salver, the famous Stuart-Graham tiara. 

" On the table in my dressing-room, under a 
handkerchief! I had dressed in my bedroom, as it 
happened. Oh oh ! Whatever does it mean ? " 

" Good Lord ! " I cried. Heaven alone knew what 
it meant, I thought. But there indubitably was the 
Jeysulmeer. No seeing person could mistake that 
dazzling jewel for anything else but its own marvellous 


self. It fairly flamed at me in Betty's hand. I 
declare in the circumstances it was positively uncanny ; 
and I regarded it with a shiver of something like fear. 
All sorts of horrid thoughts swept through my mind, 
conveying no sensible meaning to me, but only vague 
mistrust and horror. For me, I am altogether with 
Prince Florizel now in thinking that, outside the 
treasure-houses of monarchs, such fabulously valuable 
jewels are an unmitigated curse to mankind. I 
cannot tell you of the horrible thoughts the thing 
gave me. Such priceless stones would cause gloom, 
suspicion and dissension among the truest friends 
upon earth. 

" My dear Betty," I stammered lamely, "how 
how the devil did the thing come into your posses- 
sion ? " 

I have always been thankful that the Sheikh was 
there and heard and saw the whole thing. I think 
that wretched diamond must have evilly possessed me 
in some way. I don't know exactly what I thought, 
but I had poor little Betty in my arms sobbing, a 
moment later, while from over her shoulder I saw and 
heard the Sheikh explaining in his own bland manner. 

" It is nothing," said he, with the deprecatory air 
of one who disclaims thanks for some small favour. 
" Lalla Bettee, she like this thing she say. I get it 
for her. It is nothing nothing at all. Those people 
he get no sense. He look in the boxes Phaa! I 
carry it under my kaftan. It was quite easy. Now 
Lalla Bettee has it for her own. I am glad. But 
it was nothing nothing at all." 

Heard ever man the like of it! And I knew that 
at that moment detectives were hunting for this 
blazing toy in every capital in Europe. Hundreds of 


pounds had probably been spent already in the search. 
Every diamond-dealer in the hemisphere was thinking 
of the thing. The Stuart-Grahams were at their wits' 
end about it. Poor little Elsie was probably crying 
her eyes out, and the General was doubtless fretting 
his nerves to ribbons over this world-famous tiara 
which Abd el Majeed had plucked like a flower and 
brought away among his garments, as he supposed to 
gratify a whim of my sister's. 

I sat down at last from sheer stress of bewilder- 
ment, with Betty on my knee, and the Sheikh still 
muttering that it was " nothing nothing at all!" 
before us. It was hopeless to try to convey any 
adequate explanation of the situation to the Sheikh. 
I did try to tell him that my family might be eternally 
ruined and disgraced, and myself imprisoned for life, 
and various other little matters of that sort as the 
result of his kindly-meant insanity. He could not 
see it at all. The " Lalla Bettee" had wanted the 
thing, and he, the Sheikh, with the exercise of a little 
ordinary care and skill, had obtained it for her. And 
there was an end of it. 

Finally, I dried Betty's tears and sent her away to 
make my excuses at dinner. Then I sat down to 
consider the situation. The more I thought of it the 
uglier the whole affair looked. That was the horrible 
thing about this wretched Jeysulmeer. Contact with 
it robbed one of all confidence or self-respect, it 
seemed. I have said that I cannot tell you the 
thoughts which the sight of the thing inspired in me. 
The idea of going to old General Stuart-Graham, 
returning him his priceless tiara and telling him we 
had brought it away in error, seemed to me the very 
most impossible sort of idea that had ever occurred to 


mortal man. And here it falls to me to make a 

For one wretched minute I harboured some such 
thought as this in my mind : They have lost their 
tiara now, they will grow used to the loss in time ; cut 
into sections, the Jeysulmeer and the other stones 
would represent a fortune for any man ; with a 
fortune I 

I will attempt no apology. The jewel bewitched 
me, I really believe ; a baleful, horrible devil of an 
ornament ! 

At least its baleful influence brought decision to me. 

"This won't do," I said aloud, "it won't do at all. 
This plaguy tiara has just got to be returned the way 
it came, and Abd el Majeed must see to it." 

Half an hour later I was cantering over Crookham 
heath, the Sheikh mounted on a serviceable chestnut 
hack beside me, and the infernal tiara in a leather 
collar-box strapped in a knapsack on my shoulders. 
My idea, which, of course, the Sheikh thought a 
singularly crazy one, was that we should reach 
Harborough about eleven o'clock, effect a burglarious 
entry in some manner at Frampton House, and 
manage to return the tiara to the room from which it 
had been taken without seeing anyone. The whole 
thing was risky and unpleasant, to be sure ; but when 
you shall find yourself possessed of stolen property to 
the value of many thousands of pounds, you will 
realise that it is worth getting rid of at whatever risk. 
The risk involved in the retaining of the jewel even 
for a single night seemed to me infinitely more des- 
perate than any other that I could be brought to face. 
So on we rode, with our priceless collar-box, the 
Sheikh and myself. 


Harborough church clock was striking the half- 
hour after eleven as the amateur burglars, Sheikh 
Abd el Majeed and myself, led our horses into an old 
and disused chalk-pit situate some few hundred yards 
from the lodge-gates of Frampton House. Fortun- 
ately for us the kennels are placed at the lower end of 
the park, and three-quarters of a mile from Frampton 
House, whilst I knew that no dogs were kept about 
the house itself. We tied our horses in the brush at 
the far end of the old chalk-pit, and cautiously made 
our way to the park palings at some distance from the 
lodge. These were easily scaled, and within a quarter 
of an hour we were approaching the rear premises 
across cabbage beds in the kitchen garden. Not a 
single light was visible in the whole great house. I 
was thankful for that. 

A glint of moonlight showed me the Sheikh's face 
as we entered a sort of court-yard upon which the 
laundry, the carpenter's shop, the fuel-houses, and 
various other offices opened. He was evidently as 
calm, as cool, and as entirely self-possessed as though 
we had been bent upon an evening stroll for the better 
digestion of our dinner. My own case was far other- 
wise, and I will admit frankly that my knees shook 
when, with a casual wave of his white-draped arm, the 
Sheikh indicated to me the half-open window of a 

For a house which had contained the seventh 
jewel in the world the General's establishment was 
certainly but poorly secured against burglars or other 
such questionable characters as Sheikh Abd el Majeed 
and myself. Stepping through the scullery window 
was simple, though I did put my foot into a small 
bath full of liquid starch. From this scullery to the 


servants' hall was but a few steps ; and then, with 
never a bolt or lock to touch, we reached the main 
staircase, which at that moment was lighted 
with embarrasing distinctness by the moon shining 
through a stained glass window in the gallery 

I had explained to Majeed that he must lead me 
to the door of Elsie's dressing-room, since that was 
the apartment from which he had abstracted the 
horrible jewel of Jeysulmeer. I meant to place it 
upon a table there, in such a position as would attract 
immediate attention, and then, as I left the room, to 
^ock the door from outside. Thus, I thought, Elsie 
cannot fail to find her treasure when she goes into 
tier dressing-room in the morning, by the door 
communicating with her bedroom. I had ascertained 
from the Sheikh that the two rooms did communicate. 
My boots the starchy one and its fellow I had left 
in the scullery, where the Sheikh's yellow slippers 
kept them company. So I upon my stockinged feet 
and the Sheikh bare-footed we crept over the thick 
stair-carpet to the dressing-room door. 

" You are certain?" I breathed nervously to my 
companion in crime as he stopped outside a door 
separated by no more than a few feet from another 
like it. 

The Sheikh nodded his certainty, and I handed 
him the tiara (the collar-box I had left with my boots) 
that I might devote both hands to the task of noise- 
lessly opening the door. It was a good amenable 
sort of door, and yielded without creak or murmur to 
my infinitely gentle suasion. Then el Majeed handed 
me the tiara, from which at that moment the moon- 
light extracted a curious bluish radiance, very beauti- 


ful, no doubt, but to me, in my highly ambiguous posi- 
tion, very distracting. 

A dressing-table faced me as I entered the room, 
and the moonlight showed me an open space before 
the mirror, intended by Providence, it seemed, for the 
accommodation of the tiara. I stepped out cautiously 
toward it, the tiara held before me as a footman holds 
a plate. As I laid the fateful thing upon a sort of 
satin mat the sound of a faint sigh upon my right 
almost brought me to the floor in nervous confusion, 
to such a pitch were my nerves strung by this ad- 
venture and the cruelly false position in which it 
placed me. 

I turned toward the place from which the sigh 
came. I had to turn to retrace my steps. And as I 
turned I faced, not hanging garments, cupboards, 
wardrobes, or anything pertaining to a dressing- 
room, but a small white bed, with an eider-down 
hanging low upon one side of it, and a white-draped 
figure rising from its other side, with wide, staring 
eyes fixed upon me in astonishment and horror. 

I was in Elsie's bedroom, and Elsie, rising from 
her prayers, was facing me across her bed, her great 
eyes flitting from the blazing tiara on the dressing- 
table to my doubtless criminally guilty face. 

I found my tongue somehow. 

" For God's sake, Elskins," I whispered hoarsely, 
1 'don't cry out! It's all a horrible mistake. You 
know me, Elskins. For heaven's sake don't make a 
noise ! I I am going down to the kitchen. Please 
put something on and come down there, so that so 
that I may explain this horrible business. Please 
Elskins ! " 

You will admit that it was a trying ordeal for a 


young girl to face almost as trying as it was for me, 
though not quite, I fancy. She behaved like the 
pearl she is. 

" Go, then/' said she, " I will come in a minute." 

And she did ; and down there among the glisten- 
ing copper, and china, and what not, I told her the 
whole miserable tale, and knew that she knew that it 
was true. I was absolutely frank about it ; I had a 
need to be. So I told her all about poor Betty's 
trouble, and tried to make her understand how it was 
that the Sheikh, in the Oriental innocence of his 
heart, came to be guilty of this colossal peculation. 

" I am so sorry," murmured Elsie I had never 
realised before what glorious hair she had. " And it 
was all such a mistake ; such a funny mistake, too. 
Why, I never gave a thought to Lieutenant Foster. 
Indeed, I " And then, as I live, the dear girl 
blushed all over her sweet face, and I I realised 
that I loved her better than all the world beside, 
and it's an awkward thing to tell that mine was 
not a bit a hopeless love. 

Well, it's an old story now. Elsie hid the tiara 
away under a lot of frocks and things in her 
wardrobe, and so schemed that her maid should dis- 
cover it next morning in her presence ; and she 
loyally stood up to the General's choleric lecture upon 
her unpardonable carelessness, and all was well. I 
galloped home with the Sheikh that night the 
happiest man in England, and later on Betty and 
Lieutenant Foster chose our wedding-day Elsie's 
and mine for their own ; and the Sheikh, as his way 
was ever, smiled blandly upon us all. 

But the tiara is at the General's bank ; and so far 
as I am concerned it may remain there. 


I BE LI EVE I am perfectly safe in surmising that 
the most interesting and exciting days of my 
friend Sheikh Abd el Majeed's stay in England with me 
fell out during the presence in London of the Moorish 
Mission to the Court of St James. The members of t 
the Mission wer housed by the authorities in a sub- 
stantial mansion in the neighbourhood of Princes 
Gate, and as I was staying at the time in my father's 
town house in Sloane Street, with Abd el Majeed, of 
course, the distance between the Sheikh and his 
compatriots was trifling. Further, when I tell you 
that the head of the Mission, Sidi Abd er,Rahman 
Kintafi, was the uncle of the third wife of my Sheikh's 
father, it will easily be seen that el Majeed had 
some grounds for the frequency of his visits to the 
mansion at Princes Gate, and was in no danger of 
wearing his welcome thin there. 

Myself, as it were vicariously, and by the light 
reflected from my Moorish friend, became something 
of a persona grata with the members of the Mission, 
and, as no other members of my family were then in 
town, I found it easy, upon more than one occasion, 
to recompense the hospitality with which the Mission 
welcomed me at Princes Gate by entertaining old 
Sidi Abd er-Rahman and his followers in Sloane 
Street. Knowing something of Moorish affairs and 
customs, I was enabled to make them very comfort- 



able there, and I am not sure whether any of the more 
or less splendid functions in which our Government 
paid honour to his Shareefian Majesty of Morocco, 
through his Ambassador, were sources of more real 
enjoyment to Abd er-Rahman and his party than 
were the little informal reunions in my father's 
Sloane Street residence. 

Be that as it may, I am quite sure that the 
thorities of our Foreign Office had found much food 
r reflection (could they have overheard them) in 
me of the conversations which took place there 
etween the members of the Mission and myself, 
he Moors accepted me as an unofficial friend, 
elched over my green tea, specially procured for 
eir delectation, devoured bushels of kesk'soo 
epared for them in our kitchens under the super- 
sion of the Sheikh, were generous in their admira- 
on of the two ladies from the " Halls " who were 
od enough upon one occasion to demonstrate before 
some of the intricacies of the art of skirt-dancing, 
id altogether relaxed themselves agreeably from the 
rmality of ambassadorial life in the capital of the 
ritish Empire. 

Their comments upon affairs of state were highly 
teresting to me, and their remarks regarding the 
nduct of great officials in our land and in theirs 
ould have been startling, I fancy, to the grand Bashas 
ho rule in Downing Street. For example, I 
member the venerable Sidi Abd er-Rahman Kintafi 
aving some little discussion with me regarding the 
Dcial status in London of the ladies of the ballet who 
ad so delighted him with their exhibition of skirt- 
ancing. He asked if they would be accorded 
Dsitions of special honour during royal receptions 


and the like at the Court of St James. I replied 
that I hardly thought so. 

" Then it is indeed as I thought," said the 
Ambassador; "and there can be no doubt but that 
your English Government is mightily afraid of my 
master, Abd el Aziz of Morocco, and desires to pay 
him most humble court, despite the occasional louc 
talk of sending warships to enforce claims and the 
like. Such talk need not be seriously considered by 
us who are of the Faithful, I think." 

I requested further enlightenment as to these some- 
what remarkable conclusions of the Ambassador's. 

" Well, thou seest," he explained, " in our country 
the women of our dalliance, the slaves of our women's 
quarters, are not thought of seriously by persons oi 
rank. They are not at all as wives, you understand. 
Now, when I came across the water to your country 
here, being a man of note in mine own country and 
standing high in the favour of my master may 
Allah prolong his days ! I naturally brought some 
three or four of my women with me slaves, thou 
knowest ; it is not fitting that a believer should subject 
his wives to the hazards of travel among infidels. 
Now when those my female slaves did alight from the 
great ship, your Lord Chamberlain and the high 
representatives of your Sovereign, who came to greet 
us, did respectfully turn their backs until such time as 
these my slave women were effectually hidden in the 
train ; and in dismounting from the train here in 
London it was the same ; and carefully closed and 
shuttered carriages were provided for them, your 
greatest officials humbly bowing and turning aside 
from their path, much to the secret merriment of these 
my slaves, who each and all knew what it was to 


chaffer openly in Marrakish market-place with lowly 
sellers of vegetables, and that with scarcely a cloth 
over their lips if I may be pardoned for naming 
matters so private. Thus then am I assured that my 
master and his messengers are greatly feared and 
reverenced here among the infidels, who bow down 
with so much humility even before the lowliest slaves 
among us." 

My British pride was made somewhat sore by this 
recital, but in the most of the stories and comments I 
listened to in the mansion at Princes Gate and in my 
father's Sloane Street house I was moved far more to 
merriment and interest than to anything approaching 
annoyance ; and I saw more clearly than ever before 
that the art of diplomacy lay not merely in veiling the 
truth, but in setting up an untruth in place thereof; 
and further, that the greatest diplomatists appeared to 
be those who deceived themselves far more than they 
deceived others, and that the ostrich, who looks to 
hide himself by burying his own eyes in the sand, 
must be the greatest of all diplomatists that live. 

During one of my first visits with Sheikh Abd el 
Majeed to the mansion near Princes Gate I made the 
acquaintance there of a young gentleman fresh from 
the University of Oxford, whose name was Jones, and 
whose nature seemed equally stereotyped, conven- 
tional, and innocently respectable. What he was 
doing in that galley I was never quite able to under- 
stand ; but I gathered that he was a sort of third 
cousin to one of the gentlemen attached to our 
embassy in Morocco, and that he cherished mild 
hopes of one day entering the diplomatic service 
himself, a career for which I ventured to think that his 
bland preoccupation with the purely unpractical affairs 


of life fitted him to admiration. I never met a young- 
gentleman who so exactly resembled a character in 
some agreeable and fantastic comedy or story rather 
than a flesh-and-blood personage in this busy, striving, 
work-a-day world of ours. His innocence regarding 
the Oriental character was most marked, and his 
interest in the affairs of the Mission was, like his 
complexion, singularly fresh, unstained and pleasing. 
And that is really all I know about Mr Jones, beyond 
the fact that he hired a Court dress for four guineas 
from a Jew in Covent Garden in order that he might 
appear at Court in the train of Sidi Abd er-Rahman 
Kintafi, and that in the course of conversation he 
generally made pleasant and innocent remarks which 
bore in some way either upon cricket, photography or 
the University of Oxford. 

The morning of the Mission's first reception at the 
Court of St James was a truly great occasion for my 
friend, Sheikh Abd el Majeed. As a relative of Sidi 
Abd er-Rahman's he accompanied the Mission, whilst 
I settled myself with a cigar and a novel in the 
Princes Gate Mansion to await the return of my 
Moorish friends and hear their account of their brave 
doings. Mr Jones was among the European 
attendants upon the Mission, resplendent in his 
Covent Garden costume, though a little nervous, 
I fancied, with regard to the proper disposition of his 
nickel-plated sword. He seemed to be greatly in- 
spirited by my assuring him that he looked " ripping." 
I chose the adjective with forethought, and I think 
it served its turn. 

Scarcely had the Mission departed in the four 
coaches from the royal stables which had come to 
convey them, than one of the footmen attached to 


the mansion presented me with the card of a gentle- 
man, who described himself as a " Photographic 
Artist," in handsome old English lettering, and said 
that he had come by appointment with the head of 
the Mission to take portraits of the Moorish Am- 
bassador and his suite on their return from audience 
at the Palace. I requested the footman to show this 
Mr Gerald Montgomery into the morning - room, 
where I then sat over my novel, and prepared to 
entertain him pending the return of the Mission. 

Mr Montgomery proved to be a gentleman whose 
artistic temperament displayed itself conspicuously 
in the fashion of his neck-tie, a truly aesthetic piece of 
drapery, in the arrangement of his glossy and 
plenteous locks, and in the almost effusive gracious- 
ness of his general demeanour. He carried a camera 
and other photographic impedimenta with him, and 
was attired most elegantly in clothes which I am 
assured must have been obtained from the most 
expensive quarter of Bond Street. In conversation 
I found him what my grandmother would have called 
an agreeable rattle ; and, putting aside what seemed 
to me an excessive devotion to the use of strong 
perfumes, and a rather nervous alertness in manner, 
both of which peculiarities I connected in some way 
with his artistic temperament, I am bound to say that 
I found Mr Montgomery as pleasant a person to pass 
the time of day with as you would meet in a day's 

It was upon the return of the Mission from their 
presentation at Court that Mr Montgomery's habits 
of nervousness and the manipulation of a strongly- 
scented handkerchief became most strongly marked. 
But, to be sure, they were not the sort of peculiarities 


at which a man takes umbrage, and for my part I was 
moved to friendly sympathy with the Photographic 
Artist in his trepidation among the exalted foreigners, 
the more so when I overheard old Sidi Abd er- 
Rahman growling in his beard, after I had introduced 
Mr Montgomery, something to the effect that, 

" The Kaffir son of a burnt Kaffir has no right 
here among the Faithful. He plagued me with his 
letters, but I did not truly say that he might come 

Out of sheer good-nature I assured the old Moor 
that upon this occasion, when himself and his suite 
presented so imposing an appearance, it would be a 
thousand pities not to have some permanent record 
of their magnificence. As a fact, I think my appeal 
to his vanity won over Abd er- Rahman and gained 
the day for the Photographic Artist. The Ambassador 
had a fancy for a picture of himself robed more 
splendidly than he would ever be in his own land, 
where the Koranic injunctions regarding display of 
finery and the like are very strictly followed by all 
classes. About his neck was a fine rope of pearls, 
and in one side of his ample turban was stuck a 
magnificent aigrette of diamonds and emeralds, lent 
him for this one occasion by his royal master, to 
whom it had been presented by a great Indian Rajah 
who once made pilgrimage to the shrine of Moulai 
I drees in Fez. 

Mr Montgomery floridly bowed his most graceful 
acknowledgements of my efforts to further his cause, 
and it was arranged that he should first take a picture 
of Sidi Abd er- Rahman, the Ambassador, alone, and 
then one of the whole Mission. So now all our 
energies were bent upon the task of arranging a becom- 


ing pose for his Excellency, to which end a sort of 
throne was prepared from a number of cushions, a 
huge armchair, and a dais for the same to stand 

I suppose the now beaming and most gracious 
Mr Montgomery must have stepped back and forward 
between his velvet-covered camera and the throne of 
Abd er- Rahman some score of times in all before he 
was quite satisfied regarding the pose of his Excel- 
lency's venerable person, and particularly of his 
massive and turbaned head. 

"You will pardon the liberty," said he, with 
smiling deference, as he slightly moved the becrowned 
head with both his delicate hands ; and, myself 
having interpreted the remark, his Excellency was 
pleased to signify his complacence. " There ! That 
is perfect. Exactly so, for one moment, please ! " 

The Photographic Artist almost rushed back to 
the great velvet cover of his machine, and hiding 
himself therein, emerged, after a few seconds, smiling 
rapturously and announcing that the operation had 
been eminently satisfactory. 

" And now for the group," said the rosy-cheeked 
Mr Jones, who seemed to have grown quite at home 
in his knee-breeches and silk stockings by this time, 
and carried his tinkling sword with the ease of long 
familiarity with the air of Courts. 

So we set about arranging ourselves in more or 
less picturesque attitudes at one end of the apartment, 
until brought to order by the Photographic Artist, 
who seemed inclined to hurry over this portion of the 
programme, I thought, and who said now that we 
should do very well as we were. 

" It was only the portrait of Abd er- Rahman that he 


was anxious to secure," I told myself. "And that 
done, he wants to get away." 

And, indeed, it was rather remarkable, the rapidity 
with which Mr Montgomery completed his arrange- 
ments in the matter of this second operation. 

" That must be a deuced funny sort of a camera ; 
I should very much like to have a look at it," mur- 
mured Mr Jones over my left shoulder. " How in 
the world he can focus the whole lot of us at that 
distance, spread out like this, I can't imagine. It 
must be one of Stuhpelheit's new cameras, I fancy. 
I must see the photographer about it before he goes. 
Phew ! Why, by Jove, he's finished, and he never 
took the cap off! That's devilish odd, you know. I 
must cer " 

And at that moment a great shout arose from Ibn 
Marzuk, his Excellency's slipper-bearer, 

" My Lord's crown, the eyes of light with the 
flowers of emerald where are they ? " 

Every eye was turned upon the snowy turban of 
his Excellency. The magnificent aigrette no longer 
blazed over his right temple ; the Sultan's jewels, 
worth a king's ransom, men said, had vanished utterly. 

"To the doors!" screamed old Abd er- Rahman, 
who no doubt had seen something of theft and 
thievery during his thirty years at the Court of 
Morocco. And to be sure it would be no joke for 
him, this particular loss. His Shareefian Majesty 
has a short way with defaulting ministers, and failing 
the return of his aigrette, the chances were that Sidi 
Abd er- Rahman would enjoy small favour, but only a 
very painful and drawn-out kind of death on his 
return to Sunset Land. 

I, for one, was prepared to swear that the aigrette 


had been in its place when his Excellency returned 
from the presentation at Court. Its wonderful sheen 
and brilliance had attracted my attention whilst the 
Ambassador was being posed for his portrait. 

There was a whispered consultation among the 
Moors, from which I caught a growl from the 
Ambassador with reference to " El Azfel," that is the 
bastinado, for the " N'zrani," or the Christians. 
Then it was announced by his Excellency's secretary 
that everyone present was to be searched, with the 
exception, of course, of the great man himself. I 
could think of nothing pertinent to urge against this 
step, though I could see that it moved my young 
friend, Mr Jones, to very marked disgust and wrath. 
As for the Photographic Artist, the only other 
"Nazarene" then present, he was most obliging in 
the matter, and, having expressed deep regret regard- 
ing this singular incident, moved his camera aside 
and stood beside Mr Jones and myself, with his hands 
raised above his head, like a man "bailed up" by 
brigands, the better, I suppose, to facilitate a thorough 
search of his person. Certainly I could see that this 
action of his commended him favourably to Sidi Abd 
er-Rahman, though it did not appear to please Mr 

" Bai Jove!" muttered that young gentleman. 
" Does he think we are a lot of bally pick-pockets, or 
convicts, or what ? " 

To cut the story short, let me say that we were all 
very thoroughly searched, Moors and Christians 
alike, and never a sign of the Sultan's splendid 
aigrette was discovered. Anger and consternation 
strove for mastery in the almost livid face of the old 
Ambassador. I gathered that he was in favour of an 


immediate administration of the bastinado, in the case 
of the Christians present, at all events with a view to 
encouraging a confession. Then my friend the 
Sheikh stepped forward. 

" Sidi," said he to the Ambassador, "this talk of 
the stick is worse than foolish where such gentlemen 
as my friend, for example, are concerned." He waved 
one hand in my direction, and I acknowledged the 
tribute with a bow. I have seen the bastinado 
administered in Sunset Land, and had no wish to 
prove my honesty by tasting of it myself. " Further, 
Sidi, I, Abd el Majeed, would myself cut down the 
first man, though he were our lord the Sultan, who 
should lay hands upon my friend, whose bread we 
have all eaten. But I would have a word with thee 
privately, Sidi." 

The Sheikh drew the Ambassador aside, and 
together they muttered for some moments, Abd er 
Rahman nodding his turbaned old head vigorously, 
as in emphatic agreement with my Sheikh's sugges- 
tions. Then the Sheikh moved forward to where a 
massive silver ink-pot stood upon a writing-table, and 
raising the lid of the ink-pot, paused to look about 
him round the room. At length his eyes fell upon 
Mr Jones, who was somewhat sulkily playing with his 
sword, and swearing under his breath by Jove, his 
favourite, apparently, among the gods. 

With great politeness the Sheikh requested Mr 
Jones to approach him and to hold out his right 
hand. This the young gentleman from the Univer- 
sity accordingly did, and into the centre of his pink 
right palm the Sheikh proceeded to splash a great 
round blob of ink, which he scooped out of the ink-pot 
with a sort of ivory egg-spoon (a nail-cleaner, as I 


was afterwards informed), handed him for the purpose 
by one of the attendants. 

His ink-blotted pink palm extended before him, 
Mr Jones followed the Sheikh to the large bay 
window, and there halted. The Sheikh assumed a 
demeanour of great earnestness, and passed his 
extended hands several times to and fro before the 
young gentleman's face, commanding him at the 
same time to look fixedly into the little pool of ink 
upon his right palm. Then ensued whispered talk 
between the Sheikh and Mr Jones, of which I caught 
only occasional phrases here and there. That Mr 
Jones was now as wax in the hands of the Sheikh 
was apparent to the most casual observer. 

" Look well ! Where goes he now ? Mark well 

I caught no more. 

Suddenly the Sheikh bent forward and wiped the 
ink from the hand of Mr Jones. Then he made 
some further movements with his hands before the 
young gentleman's face and turned away. Mr Jones 
shook his head, coughed, blinked once or twice, and 
walked slowly to my side, muttering, as though this 
singular incident of the ink-splash had not occurred at 
all, " Bai Jove ! Do they take us for a lot of pick- 
pockets, or what ? " 

" Gentlemen, this very regretful incident is one 
which I deeply deplore" it was the Photographic 
Artist who began to speak now, his manner suggest- 
ing a curious blend of extreme nervous haste and 
extreme deference " but as I am expected in the 
matter of three other professional engagements this 
morning, I fear that I must ask you to excuse me 
now. I er in fact, it is highly necessary, I would 


say, that I really must be going without further 

And the Artist gathered up his photographic 
oddments as he spoke. But, to his confusion, it 
appeared that no sort of attention was paid to the 
matter of his extremely polite remarks. The door- 
keepers fixed their regard upon the ceiling, and my 
friend the Sheikh was busy in a whispered conversa- 
tion with his Excellency the Ambassador. 

" Sir ! " cried the Sheikh, suddenly wheeling 
round upon the Photographic Artist, " be not so 
hasty, I beg you. The loss we all deplore is a great 
one, but my Lord, his Excellency, is not a man of one 
jewel. Let us put it aside ; and since you have the 
picture of his Excellency, who is a relation of mine, 
I beg you will now take one of me without delay. 
See, I stand ! " 

And my friend the Sheikh threw himself at once 
into a pose of really splendid defiance. Just so and 
not otherwise might a Moorish Emperor have 
received an ambassadorial petitioner from the 
infidels in the bad old days of that sainted butcher, 
Moulai Ismail, of bloody but revered memory in 

To my surprise the artistic value of the picture 
did not seem to appeal to Mr Montgomery. Indeed, 
it seemed at first he would not take the portrait, so he 
fussed and nervously insisted upon the value of his 
time, and the necessity for his immediate de- 

"You will take my portrait," said the Sheikh, 
quietly, but with exceeding masterfulness. And the 
Photographic Artist proceeded forthwith to arrange 
his camera in position. 


"Thank you!" said he, mechanically, when the 
operation was completed. 

" And now let me see the picture," demanded the 
Sheikh. And I was surprised at the ignorance he 
isplayed, for I had once before had occasion to 
xplain to him that photographs require development, 
ir Montgomery naturally protested that there was as 
et no picture to show. 

" Natheless, I will see it," persisted Sheikh Abd 
1 Majeed, walking threateningly toward the camera. 

" Oh, come, you know, but that's absurd," put in 
VEr Jones, advancing upon the photographer's side. 
You can't, you know, until it's developed." 

"Do you refuse?" demanded the Sheikh, in 
tentorian tones, of the now hopelessly confused 
'hotographic Artist. 

" You see, my dear sir, it is impossible to show 
ou now, and I really must be going. I think it is 
ot a very good picture indeed, that is to say I " 

With one blow of his fist the Sheikh sent the 
:amera flying off its stand, and before Mr Jones, who 
ras indignantly running to the photographer's 
ssistance, muttering something about a " benighted 
avage, " could interfere, the Sheikh had effectually 
mashed the machine with his foot. 

" Now get me my picture," said he, as though the 
Breaking of the instrument made the immediate 
production of his portrait quite simple. 

" I really cannot possibly wait I must leave at 
Dnc e I " 

The Photographic Artist showed a great deal of 
latural distress over the smashing of his instrument, 
md surprisingly little resentment, I thought, as he 
noved toward the door. 


" Let no man leave this room," thundered old 
Abd er-Rahman. 

So there we stood. Meantime, Mr Jones, an 
ardent photographer himself, had picked up the 
broken camera and was carefully examining it, with a 
view to determining the extent of its injuries, I 
supposed. Seeing this, the very embarrassed Mr 
Montgomery flew to his side and seized the fractured 
instrument quite jealously. 

" Er pray don't trouble ! " said he, like Mr Toots. 
" It's of no consequence whatever, I assure you ; 
it's not of the slightest consequence er it's not 
a very good camera." 

" Indeed," said Mr Jones, " I quite thought it 
must be one of Stuhpelheit's new panoramic ex- 
tensions when I saw how you managed that big 
group. I wish you'd let me have a look at it. 
What's the idea in that sort of sunken space under 
the back screw ? " 

"Oh, that is merely a flaw in er But I will 
explain it to you at my studio with pleasure. Perhaps 
you will call round I er I really must er " 

The Photographic Artist was obviously very much 
put about. I felt quite sympathetic for him. 

" Let me see that," put in Sheikh Abd el Majeed, 
striding up to Mr Montgomery. "There I shall find 
my picture, perhaps." 

" Indeed, sir, I assure you that it is not possible 
for your picture to er " 

" You can't possibly see it, now you've stupidly 
smashed the thing, you know," said Mr Jones, speak- 
ing with feeling for a fellow-photographer, no doubt. 

The Sheikh said nothing, but snatched the camera 
from the hands of the Photographic Artist, who, to 



my astonishment, turned at once and fled wildly 
toward one of the doors. " He probably thinks now 
that he has fallen among savage cannibals at least," I 
thought, and walked after Mr Montgomery with a 
view to reassuring him. Hearing a shout behind me, 
I turned in time to see the Sheikh slit open the recess 
below the camera with the point of hjs dagger, thus 
exposing his Excellency's magnificent aigrette, or 
rather the Sultan's, neatly ensconced in cotton-wool. 

Sidi Abd er-Rahman hoarsely demanded that the 
right hand and left foot of the Photographic Artist 
should at once be cut off, this being the method 
most approved in such circumstances in the realm of 
:his Shareefian Lord and Master. I ventured to 
nterpose here, for already two-, attendants had 
jdragged the barely conscious Mr Montgomery to the 
side of his Excellency's cushions. I explained that 
we Britishers had a prejudice in favour of formal trial 
md sentence in these matters, and requested that a 
jbotman belonging to the house might at once be sent 
)ut for a police-officer. 

After some rather fierce discussion, in the course 
>f which his suspense seemed to weigh very heavily 
ipon Mr Montgomery, this was done, and the artist, 
ith his wonderful camera, his flowing but dis- 
,rranged neck-tie, and his other belongings, was 
emoved from our presence by a stalwart member of 
;he Metropolitan force. We learned in the course of 
he week that Mr Montgomery was one of the most 
xpert jewel thieves in Europe, an artist indeed, and 
ne for whom the police were already anxiously 
king in connection with another and a more 
iccessful robbery than the present one. 
But I never quite got to the bottom of my 


Sheikh's experiment with the ink-blot in the rosy 
hand of young Mr Jones. I gathered that it was the 
Moorish form of crystal-gazing, and the Sheikh said 
he had enabled Mr Jones, by hypnotism, to see the 
whole theft in the ink-blot. But whatever the process 
the Sheikh certainly managed the matter very ably, 
as we all agreed. And he now wears a very hand- 
some silver-sheathed dagger, with a big emerald in its 
haft, sent him by the Sultan after the story reached 


WE of the West, with our wireless telegraphy, 
and our Science in Snippets for the multi- 
tude, are apt to think that we have said the last word 
and thought the last thought in most matters. We 
sjare apt to forget, too, that many of our most wonder- 
ul and well-trumpeted discoveries were matters of 
icommon knowledge many centuries ago to folk whose 
uticle is different from ours and whom we regard as 
vages. I suppose this is an integral fibre of our 
holesome British pride, and of that royal confidence 
n ourselves which alone makes it possible for 
s to dominate a very large share of the earth's 
urface. So far, so good. But the under-rating of 
;he powers of the "savages" and "semi-savages" is 
little misleading, and involves an occasional shock of 
urprise for us. 

Now, take the matter of hypnotism. I fancied 
hat Paris and London knew all that was worth 
Jj:nowing about that subject. I don't think so now. 
found, for example, in Morocco, that pretty nearly 
ery Moor one met with knew as much about 
nesmerism, in practice if not in theory, as do any of 
he professing exponents of the art, or science, or 
/hatever you call it, in Europe. It was my 
iend, Sheikh Abd el Majeed, who opened my eyes to 
is, as to a good many other matters of interest. He 



heard me one day in Tangier instructing a groom in 
the matter of a sick horse. 

"And mind," said I to the groom, " don't you 
leave the stable till I return. No loafing down to Bab 
el Fas cafe, mind. Be sure I shall see you if you go 
out. You stay right here till I get back." 

Of course the man promised, and equally, of course, 
I suspect he strolled down to the city gate caf6, or to 
some other centre of gossip, as soon as my back was 

"Why does the Sidi think he would see his 
servant in the town if his servant desired not to be 
seen?" asked Sheikh Abd el Majeed. 

" Why? Because I mean to keep my eyes opei 
of course," was my innocent English reply. 

" H'm ! And does the Sidi suppose that he coul< 
see me in the town if I wished him not to see me ? " 

I indicated my readiness to wager that I would i 
the Sheikh were within eye-shot from the public 
streets ; and then it was that my friend explained to 
me the every-day uses to which hypnotism is put in 
Morocco. I confess I had my doubts about it. 

" Where does the Sidi ride this evening ?" asked 
the Sheikh. 

" By Bubanah, and home through Shwaanee and 
along the beach," said I. 

"Good! Let the Sidi look for me along the 
beach, within half a mile of the town," said the 
Sheikh, in his confoundedly superior way, as it might 
be he was humouring some sceptical child. 

"He'll have to shrink into something mighty |} 
small if I am not to see him on that beach," I 
thought. And accordingly, as soon as I reached the 
sands on my homeward way, I slowed my stallion 


down to a walk and made up my mind to scrutinise 
carefully every soul I passed upon the beach. 

But I saw no sign of Sheikh Abd el Majeed. In 
act, I only met about a score of people altogether. 
Dlose to the corner where one turns for the hill road 
o the Sok, I caught sight of Trefane, the Danish 
consul, and pulled up alongside him for a chat. 

"You haven't seen anything of Sheikh Abd el 
Vlajeed, my new familiar, have you ? " I asked after 
he usual salutations. 

" Isn't that the man sitting there by those nets?" 
aid he. 

As I hope to be forgiven, the Sheikh was sitting 

iwithin fifty yards of us. I had just passed him. 

Trefane said the Sheikh had certainly sat there with- 

ut moving during the last ten minutes, for he himself 

had been looking out for the Gibraltar steamer during 

that time, and had seen the Sheikh all the while. 

And I had looked into the face of every single person 

saw on that beach. 

" But that is nothing at all," said the Sheikh, 

fterwards. " Any street idler might do so much 

ust prevent your seeing him. It is easy to prevent 

our seeing a thing that is ; where skill comes is in 

making you see a thing which is not." 

But all this is a shocking digression (though not 
without purpose), for I want to tell you about my 
ousin, Harry Forbes, and how the Sheikh helped him 
n England. 

You would probably know almost as much about 
iarry as I do if I gave his real name, since a young 
nan may not run through a fortune of three-quarters 
f a million, and pick himself up again, without 
Attracting a good deal of attention. But for obvious 


reasons I refrain from using Harry's real second name. 
Therefore you will think of him, if you please, as 
a young man of twenty-six whose mother had died 
when he was a child, and whose father, who died 
when Harry was twenty-three, had left him close upon 
eight hundred thousand pounds in good securities, a 
small annuity so wisely tied up that it could not be 
disposed of, and Itchet Park. Itchet Park was a fine 
inheritance in itself; a fine old mansion, built in the 
reign of the first George, and one of the finest parks 
in the north of England. But Harry had started 
business as a patron of the turf, even before his father 
died ; and well, you know, the turf demands a go< 
deal of its young patrons. The youngster had nol 
done so badly, from the sporting point of view, an< 
there is no doubt he knew a horse when he saw on< 
His training stables contained some very fine animah 
and they did a good deal of winning for him. But 
Harry's head for figures was not remarkable, and it 
seemed he could never resist the temptation to plunge 
in betting. Standing to win a thousand seemed a poor 
sort of business to Harry. He must needs go out and 
double and treble his wagers before the thought of 
them gave him an atom of satisfaction. Yet he had 
his occasional fits of caution and remorse ; and when 
a horse of Harry's won it frequently brought nothing 
in its owner's pocket to balance his very heavy losses 
on previous races. 

When Harry asked me to go and spend a week at 
Itchet Park, and see him win the Great Northern 
Handicap, I asked permission to bring Sheikh Abd 
el Majeed with me, knowing that the Moor would be 
intensely interested in the racing, and being anxious 
to show him something of what Englishmen could do 


with horses. Harry wrote back welcoming us both 
"And anyone else you like to bring. There's 
heaps of room, and plenty of grub at present. 
And there will be heaps more when Starlight has 
passed the judge's box on Tuesday." 

So I was prepared to learn that my cousin had 
been plunging again ; but it was not until the night 
before the great race that I realised how deeply. 

Sheikh Abd el Majeed was, as I had foreseen, 
deeply interested in Harry's stables, where, as guests 
of honour, we were admitted on the evening of our 
arrival at Itchet Park, to see the horses and be 
introduced to Starlight, the red-hot favourite for the 
Great Northern. I think I never saw a more 
beautiful animal in my life, and his condition was 
superb. Trained to the last turn of concert pitch, 
Starlight was a ruddy bay model of what a racehorse 
should be ; satin-coated and thighed like an ostrich ; 
a mass of muscle and nerves, he chewed the edge of 
his manger while the Sheikh ran one sensitive hand 
down the sinewy pasterns and stroked the gleaming 
flank. The mere appearance of the beast in his 
beautifully-kept box conveyed a wonderfully strong 
impression of lightning speed, tireless endurance, and 
ability to spring to the gallop as an arrow leaves a 

< 'Y' Allah t'if!" exclaimed the Sheikh, in deep- 
breathing admiration. "What a horse!" 

And the jealous stable-boy, whose bed was in the 
next box, glanced at Abd el Majeed as though fearful 
lest some fateful charm had been pronounced over the 
creature whose care was this lad's religion. But 
Harry Forbes understood and warmed to the 


"Yes; he's a beauty, isn't he?" said Harry, 
drawing his rug over Starlight's haunches. "And 
he's going to set me straight with the world on 
Tuesday. Nothing can stop him unless it's Wilson's 
Jason, and " 

" If ye please, sir, our Starlight can leave 'im 
standing ! " The stable-boy would have fought any- 
one else but his master who had ventured upon the 
expression of even so much doubt, I fancied. 

I have my doubts as to whether the Sheikh ever 
enjoyed anything in England as he enjoyed that first 
day's racing of the Great Northern meeting on 
Monday. Harry passed us everywhere, even to the 
weighing-room, and the Sheikh studied English racing 
from the inside, as the saying is, in the saddling- 
paddock, and among the jockeys and grooms. He 
was presented to the famous jockey who was to ride 
Starlight on the morrow, and to his equally famous 
compeer who was to steer the second favourite, Jason. 
He talked earnestly and humbly with both, learning 
with every step he took and every word he heard. 
He was shown the judge's box, walked over the 
course, and was instructed in the details of the 
management of races. 

Starlight was not running that day, but Jason 
was ; and when the Sheikh had examined the second 
favourite he confided to me with a sigh that he had 
had no idea there would be other horses so fit to ride 
against my cousin's Starlight. 

" But, to be sure, to win even by the breadth of 
my hand is sufficient ? " said he. 

"Ay, or of thy finger," I agreed ; and that seemed 
to comfort him. 

It was late that night, in the smoking-room, when 


the rest of his guests had gone to bed, that Harry told 
me just what the next day's race would mean for him. 
The Sheikh squatted on a cushion beside us, smoking 
Bastos cigarettes, and was no barrier to my cousin's 
confidence. I suppose they joined hands in their 
mutual love of a good horse. In any case I had 
seen that the Sheikh was more drawn toward Harry 
than he had been toward any other man to whom I 
had introduced him. And Harry met his advances, 
and seemed to reciprocate his feelings most heartily. 

"Thundering good chap, your Sheikh," said he to 
me; "and as for being a darkey, as that fool said on 
the course to-day why, he's no more of a darkey 
than I am ! He's got a devilish sharp eye for a horse, 
and I'm glad to find he admires Star as much as he 
does. I never saw a man handle a horse more under- 
standingly. Old Star would have let the Sheikh sit 
between his hoofs ; and he won't stand liberties from 
most folk, either. He won't from me, I know." 

I explained to Harry that your Moor was, so to 
say, born a-horseback, and that horse-lore was 
hereditary among Arabs. And then we fell to talk 
of Harry's circumstances. I knew he had plighted 
his troth to a Miss Dighton ; one of the Leicestershire 
Dightons, who, as everyone knows, are as poor as 
church mice. My people had tried to put obstacles in 
the way, for, from the worldly point of view, a more 
unwise match could hardly be conceived ; but neither 
they nor I understood just how unwise it was. 

" What do you think I stand to win on Starlight 
to-morrow ? " said Harry, reflectively, chewing the end 
of his cigar. 

" Ten thousand," said I, knowing his plunging 


"Ten thousand on the Great Northern Handi- 
cap ! Why, I lost more than that last week. No, my 
son, Starlight's got to win nearly two hundred thousand 
for me to-morrow ; and what's more, if he doesn't win 
it I sha'n't have a stick or stone to call my own after 
next settling-day, bar the little annuity that poor Dad 
tied up so deuced tight that I couldn't raise eighteen- 
pence on it." 

I stared. "Two hundred thousand and Star- 
light's at six to four on ! " 

"Well, of course, I did better than that. I didn't 
make my book yesterday, though I'm bound to say 
the odds were confoundedly tight about Star from the 
very start. His Newmarket win fixed that and 
didn't bring me a thousand pounds, confound it ! " 

There was silence between us for a few minutes, 
and, watching Harry's face, the conviction was born< 
in upon me that this race was no ordinary plunge for 
him, but a matter of life and death. The sporting 
element of it was lost, clean out of sight ; it was not 
just a win or a loss, it was a win or ruin, for my 
cousin, and the shadow of it was heavy upon his face. 
He seemed to read my thoughts, for, presently, he laid 
one hand upon my shoulder, and his voice broke a 
little as he said to me, 

" By God, old man, I tell you Star has just got to 
win this time or you'll never hear of me any more. 
This week has been almost more than I could stand. 
If anything went wrong there wouldn't be enough left 
to settle my bills with. If all's well, and Star wins 
Phew ! I'm clear. I should be married in a month, 
and yes, I shall be done with racing for good and 
all. If Star's beaten it means the Colonies, or a 
bullet for me ! " 


" lyeh, by Allah, but Star will win ! " said the 
Sheikh, quietly, and touching Harry's knee with one 

I had forgotten the Sheikh, and so, for the moment, 
I think, had Harry. 

" Thanks, Sheikh, thanks! I hope he will, I'm 
sure," said Harry. " Have some more coffee ? " 

The Sheikh declined the coffee and rose to leave 
us for the night. " But make you no trouble in your 
mind," said he, earnestly, to Harry. " I have said it ; 
by Allah, the Star shall win ! " And with that he left 

" He's a good chap, your Sheikh," said Harry to 
me ; " but but I suppose my nerves are a bit jumpy, 
or something. I declare he made me shiver just now ; 
talking like that, as though he were a sort of Provi- 
dence and could make horses win or lose as he liked. 
I tell you the strain of this thing is more than a man 
can stand. I've grown old in the last week, and a 
fellow has to keep a stiff upper lip among racing men, 
and with guests in the house, too. Lord ! Lord ! 
What would the dear old pater have said to the 
ownership of Itchet Park hanging on a horse-race?" 

" But, look here, Harry, can't you hedge ? " I said. 
" Couldn't you lay off some of it on Jason, in case of 
accidents ? " 

II Oh, well, if you talk of accidents, what's to pre- 
vent an outsider romping home ? " 

I sighed. But the thought of what a disaster for 
Harry failure would mean possessed me, and I stuck 
to the hedging idea so closely that before we parted 
for the night he had agreed to see what could be done 
next morning in the matter of laying off a few 
hundreds of pounds upon Jason. 


" Bar accidents," he said, " Jason's the only horse 
I fear. But he well, if what Wilson tells me is true, 
Jason ought to just about beat Star on the post. It's 
that that's made me old this week. I ought to have 
hedged as soon as I knew what Jason had done in his 
trial last week ; but old Star well, I don't know. 
I didn't anyhow!" 

But I had Harry's promise for the morning, and 
comforted myself with that as I turned in for the 

But my comfort was stripped from me when we 
started for the course next morning. (The distance 
was no more than three miles, and Harry's horses 
were always taken by road.) My cousin had made 
the poorest sort of pretence at breaking his fast, and 
now, though with his high colour and bright eyes he 
looked well enough to the casual observer, he seemed 
to me to be in a high fever of excitement. When we 
mounted the Itchet drag Harry declined to take the 
ribbons, and I knew his nerves must be in a pretty bad 
state when he felt unfit to handle his own team. 

" I'm right off hedging," he muttered to me as we 
started. " After all, it's a snivelling sort of business." 
I'd rather stand or fall. Star deserves so much, by 
gad! I'll not hedge a penny piece!" 

The Sheikh's learning had not carried him far 
enough to understand what was meant by hedging, 
but he nodded his approval at Harry, and said, in his 
quiet, impressive way, "Star will win; I have said 
it ! " It was not like him, I thought, to make confident 
assertions without having some ground to base them 
on. Could he really know, from his examination of 
the two horses most concerned ? At all events, I 
envied him his confidence. 


" Now we must just go and say good-morning to 
Starlight and wish him luck," said Harry, when he 
reached the saddling-paddock gate. " Come along, 
Sheikh, and give our horse your blessing ! " 

" First, I want you to let me see Jason and that 
boy with the old man's face who is to ride him," said 
the Sheikh. " Then I will say ' B'ism Illah ' over the 

Harry laughed nervously. " All right," he said. 
" But don't be killing Jason's jock for the love you 
bear Starlight, Sheikh, for that wouldn't win our race 
for us." 

" Nay," said the Sheikh, gravely, as one who 
should protest he had never injured a fly ; " there is 
to be no killing here ; there is no need of killing, but 
only of racing. And the Star, he is to win." 

Jason's wizened jockey, the hero of a thousand 
victories, shook hands with Sheikh Abd el Majeed 
with great good humour. What the little man did 
not know about horses and racing was not very well 
worth knowing, and it was his conviction that he was 
to ride the winner of the Great Northern that day. 

" There is a little black there so ! " Delicately 
the Sheikh had touched the famous jockey's forehead 
with the forefinger of his slim right hand. The jockey 
acknowledged the attention a little awkwardly, I 
thought, and his eyes fell in a shamefaced way from 
the Sheikh's face. 

'" So you are riding to to win to-day, hey ? " said 
the Sheikh. 

"Er what? Why, yes," said the jockey. It 
was very odd, I thought, the way in which the words 
seemed to be forced from him, as humility might be 
forced from a bully. 


" Ah ye-es ! " said the Sheikh, slowly. " But 
sometimes how you say it ? In my country we say 
success is never so far as when the finger-tips touch it. 
Between the touch and the grasp you understand 
Nay, nay ; there is no need of words. I wish you 
strength, Sahhah ! " 

It was an irritating way to talk to a jockey just 
before his race, I thought, and I was quite surprised 
that the man stood it so quietly ; to be sure, he looked 
sullen and resentful enough, but he stepped forward 
briskly as a stable-boy in hopes of a tip when the 
Sheikh asked him some trivial question. 

The first two races excited no great attention, but 
betting was brisk on the big event of the day, and 
before the horses were led out for their preliminary 
canter Starlight had given place to Jason as first 
favourite. It was as though Harry's nervousness had 
communicated itself to the public ; and certainly their 
loss of faith in Starlight had its effect upon poor 
Harry. The poor fellow only kept outward control 
of himself by a prodigious effort, and when I spoke to 
him, begged me in a whisper to ask him nothing till 
the race was run. 

" Keep near me, old man. By gad ! it's more than 
I can stand. What the devil can have put them off 
old Star like this ? They're giving three to one about 
him. By gad ! I'll have another hundred on him, 
hang me if I won't ! " 

And he did, despite all my arguments against it. 

11 Peace ! peace ! " murmured the Sheikh in my 
ear. " The Star shall win. I have said it." 

The crowd yelled their cheers as the two favourites 
minced past the grand stand together after the canter. 
Harry, the Sheikh, myself, and a few others of 


Harry's party secured places close to the rails next 
the judge's box. We were within a few yards of the 
fateful post itself. From this you will know, if you 
know the Great Northern course, that we had a very 
fair view of the starting-place, and a perfect view of 
the best straight in England. The first and the last 
half-mile of the race would be a panorama for us ; but 
we were too low to see much of the intervening 
three-quarters of a mile. 

"They're off!" shouted the crowd, and the 
book-makers suddenly ceased from troubling. Silence 
fell upon the great course and the multitude that 
hemmed it in. It was a fine start. First came two 
outsiders whose names I did not know ; then a raw, 
leggy chestnut, very fast but no stayer for that 
distance, I thought ; then Starlight, stretching com- 
fortably in an inside position with Jason a good 
length in the rear, and half-hidden by the ruck. A 
splendid field, and Already they were out of 

All the colour had left Harry's face now, and he 
looked ten years more than his age as he turned half 
round to watch the faces on the stand for indications 
of the progress of the race. 

" Turn-turn ! tut-sah ! " he was muttering to him- 
self ; and every other moment his tongue moved to 
moisten his dry lips, whilst his left hand crushed a 
cigar, and his right fore-finger and thumb jerked at 
the end of his moustache. The Sheikh leaned upon 
the rails, his eyes glued upon that quarter of the 
course from which the horses entered the straight and 
our range of vision. 

"Starlight leads!" 

The crowd roared itself hoarse as the field 


appeared again, and I heard Harry, craning his head 
behind me, take in his breath with a gulp. 

"The sport of kings is mighty wearing to some 
commoners," I thought. 

There was no sort of doubt but that the race was 
between the two favourites. The public were so far 
right. Starlight and Jason entered the half-mile 
straight a length and a half ahead of the field, which 
was bunched thickly ; and Starlight was three-quarters 
of a length in advance of Jason. We could hear the 
thunder of their hoofs now. I saw Tom Gunner's 
whip rise over Starlight's flank. 

"Too soon! Too soon!" groaned Harry behind 

Jason was creeping steadily on. His nose reached 
Tom Gunner's knee, and passed it. They were neck 
and neck, and there they stayed through a little 
eternity. The crowd gasped. 

" Starlight ! Jason ! Starlight ! Jason ! " 

The tension was horribly acute. Tom Gunner's 
whip was going like a flail. And now I saw the whip 
of Jason's jockey rise and fall once, twice. The grey 
crept forward. There was no doubt about it. 
" Jason wins! " yelled the crowd. Jason was a neck 
and a half ahead, and the whip had barely spoken to 
him yet. On they came, the earth shaking under 
them, Jason winning by a quarter of his length. The 
Sheikh, leaning far over the rails, was muttering away 
in Arabic during the whole of this time. Suddenly 
his voice rose, almost to a shout. 

" Drook ! " that is, " Now ! " was the word that 
left him ; and his two corn-coloured hands, palms 
outward, shot out before me like unleashed hawks. 
" Racecourses are no places for you, my friend," 


thought I. And then I thought no more of that, for 
the great roar that went up from the crowd assembled 
on that course drowned thought. 

" Starlight ! Starlight wins ! " 

It was really most extraordinary. I saw the 
jockey's shoulders twitch, and I could almost have 
sworn he jagged at Jason's mouth. Certainly the 
favourite's stride shortened. Starlight's blood-red 
nostrils were level with his nostrils. They shot past. 
They were at the post'; Starlight a good head and 
neck in advance, the ruck of the field thundering after 
them, Harry Forbes shaking both my hands, in 
tremulous fashion, and the Great Northern Handi- 
cap was run and won. 

A few minutes later we were in the saddling- 
paddock, the Sheikh and myself, to welcome Harry 
as he led the winner in, to the accompaniment of 
deafening applause from the crowd. A rasping voice 
behind me made me turn to look at those who accom- 
panied the second horse, the beaten favourite. 

" But, God in heaven, man, you simply pulled up ! " 

It was Wilson, the owner of Jason, addressing 
the most sourly crestfallen jockey in England, who, 
for his part, had not a word to say in his defence ; 
though I heard later* that in the weighing-room he 
was heard savagely to grunt out a statement to the 
effect that he believed he had been bewitched. 

It was not till several days later that I was able 
to get anything out of Sheikh Abd el Majeed on the 
subject ; and then he only said, 

" It is not so easy, Sidi, to make a man do things 
as to prevent him seeing you ; but with a little care, a 
little practice, we Moors can do a good deal with 
what you call mesmerism." 



In my heart I knew perfectly well that Jason 
could have won that race, and would have won it, 
but for the Sheikh's exercise of will-power upon the 
jockey. It may have been my duty to have explained 
this to the stewards ; but should I have been 
thanked, or called a lunatic ? And then there was 
Harry; it was fortune or ruin for him. What would 
you have done ? 

Anyhow, I have told what happened, and I know 
that it was not Starlight, but Sheikh Abd el Majeed, 
who won the Great Northern Handicap that year. 

A week before Harry was married to Miss 
Dighton he told the Sheikh he wanted to make hi 
a present. 

" Somehow, I believe it was your blessing mad 
old Star win, Sheikh. Now what can I give you ? " 

The Sheikh smiled. He knew. 

"Your blessing, friend, that I, too, may win," 
said he. 

And, in addition to the blessing, Harry gave the 
Sheikh the best hunter in his stables. 


r I ^HERE was once an American boy, the son 
i of a Chicago millionaire, and this boy was 
domiciled at an English public school. He was a 
millionaire in his own right, from the standpoint of his 
English school-mates. One of his whims, the most 
grievous among many, was to purchase costly, delicate 
and highly intricate mechanical contrivances, ap- 
parently with the aim of showing how quickly he 
could tire of them, and, having tired of them, destroy 
the beautiful, complex things by leaving them lying 
about in playgrounds, by sitting on them, and by 
other apeish and unpleasing devices. Now, at this 
same school was an English boy whose loving 
interest in mechanical contrivances amounted to a 
passion. Financially this inventor in embryo was the 
poorest boy in the school. On a certain sunny 
summer afternoon this lad fell upon the American 
youth and came near to slaying him with a cricket 
stump, over the rusted ruins of an exquisite little 
model engine which the rich boy was kicking in 
sunder. When he was healed of his wounds and 
whole once more, one found that the episode had 
exerted a most beneficial effect upon the destructively- 
inclined young millionaire. 

I inspected the Moorish armoured cruiser, Bashir, 
the other day ' and I was filled with a desire to turn 

1 In the spring of 1901. The Sultan sold his costly toy last year. 



that English boy loose, with his stump , among the 
Moorish authorities responsible for the purchase and 
subsequent maltreatment of this costly, delicate and 
highly intricate mechanical contrivance. But there ! 
The poor lad's heart would break when, after inter- 
minable stump-wielding, he found, as find he would, 
that no power on earth could amend the chastised 
ones or preserve from ultimate ruination their toy. 

You must know that for quite a number of years 
past there has been a Moorish navy. I am not re- 
ferring, of course, to the " saleemans," xebecs and 
caravels of the palmy Moorish days of the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries, but to this present 
age of the Moorish empire's decay. This navy 
consisted of two small merchant steamers, purchased 
from Europe Sid et Turki of 385 tons' register, and 
Al Hassanee of 1000 tons. These little steamers, 
each carrying a few guns, have made Tangier Bay 
their head-quarters, are captained and officered by 
German merchant seamen, and have been used 
principally for the conveying of grain and stores to 
and from coast towns in Morocco when not occupied 
in the transport of prisoners or of the pickled heads 
of rebels. This latter task is an important branch of 
the Moorish naval service, which, one is pleased to 
say, led to the resignation, after ineffectual protesta- 
tions, of the only Englishmen employed in it. 

Early in the decade just ended the Italian 
embassy in Tangier proceeded on a mission to the 
Moorish Court in the interior. Among other matters 
then pressed upon the Sultan (the father of the 
present ruler) it is said that he was invited to order a 
modern armoured cruiser to be built for him in an 
Italian dockyard at a cost of something under 


^100,000. The vessel could be used as a royal 
yacht for the conveyance of Allah's Anointed, the 
then prince Abd el Aziz, on his pilgrimage to Holy 
Mekka. At all events a member of the Italian 
Embassy remained for close on eighteen months at 
the Court, and, as a reward for his diplomatic patience, 
at the end of that time returned to Tangier with an 
order for Italy in his hand for a modern noo-ton 
armoured cruiser. This cruiser, the Bashir, was built 
in 1894, in the Fratelli Orlando dockyard at Leghorn, 
and a bill was presented to the Sultan for an amount 
between ^80,000 and ,90,000. The cruiser was to 
be manned for the most part by Italians. 

Then began the complications the Legation 
complications, which are the inevitable stumbling- 
block in the way of any new departure, progressive or 
otherwise, in this distressful country. All the other 
Powers, with a smile and a bow for Italy, turned 
frowningly upon the Sultan and began to rend him 
upon the question of cruisers. Each one demanded, 
like an eager bagman, an order such as Italy had ob- 
tained. " Plague take the thing and the whole 
accursed tribe of Nazarenes ! " one imagines the 
Sultan saying. What he openly said was, in effect, 
" Very well, then, I won't take the Italian cruiser and 
I won't pay for it. Perhaps that will content you 
other fellows." 

A certain number of Moors had entered the 
Italian navy to be trained. They were left there, 
and the Sultan, doubtless with relief, washed his 
sacred hands of the whole affair. The Powers fell 
back and dozed again ; and Italy commenced a treat- 
ment of quarterly pin-prickings, in the shape of 
reminders that their order had been completed, the 


goods, according to sample, were ready for delivery, 
and a settlement of account by return would oblige. 
The Moorish Government, from long habit, are 
inured to this kind of thing, and can bear up under 
it quite singularly well. They bore up, the Sultan 
and his Wazeers, until the former died. The virtue 
of patient endurance descended with the Imperial 
Parasol, it seemed, to his son, the present Right Hand 
of Allah upon earth. And the cruiser remained at 

Objecting, naturally, to the unbusiness-like practice 
of keeping ordered stock indefinitely on hand, Italy, 
so to say, dropped in, in a friendly way, upon the 
other Powers, and requested them to let up and spoil 
sport no longer. " Very well," said the other Powers 
at length, over their Chianti, shall we say, " You 
send in your goods and get a settlement ; but, mark 
this, on the distinct understanding that you don't let 
it occur again, and that no Power interested in 
Morocco shall allow its subjects to man the cruiser? " 

So, at long last, the cruiser steamed away from 
Leghorn for Tangier Bay, where she dropped anchor 
in the autumn of 1900. The Moors who had been 
trained in the Italian navy were aboard her, but could 
not handle the vessel. So she was brought here by 
Italians, who departed from her, according to agree- 
ment, when she reached Moorish waters. The cruiser, 
a beautiful yacht-like little vessel, being securely 
moored, a crew was appointed by the Tangier 
authorities, and the Bashir was handed over to its 
tender mercies. The newly-appointed paymaster (in 
Moorish affairs the paymaster is always the real 
master) had never before trod a ship's deck, I am 
informed. The Moorish gentlemen of Italian naval 


training came ashore in all the glory of Italian naval 
uniform slightly modified, and proceeded to their 
respective homes in the interior. In a few weeks they 
made one task of the doffing of civilisation and of the 
clothing of civilisation. It was marvellous. They 
sloughed six years' training and environment in the 
time it took them to discard their gold-braided coats ; 
and they stepped back into present-day, decadent 
Moorish barbarity while donning the djellab, kaftan 
and yellow slippers of the Faithful. 

Meantime, the sylph-like Bashir accumulated 
barnacles and a fine coating of briny rust in Tangier 
Bay. It was decided to change her position a little. 
She had to be towed from one anchorage to the other. 
That rather riled Morocco proud of its new toy 
and accordingly an English engineer was engaged and 
sent aboard her, to put the " steam devil business' 
in order. This good man is said to have wept when 
he ended his first inspection of engines which had 
left Italy a few months earlier in perfect order. He 
probably wept further when he set to work to remedy 
the evils resulting from lazy ignorance and neglect. 
Work that he ordered Mohammed to put through 
was shruggingly delegated to Cassim, who lit a 
cigarette and bade Absalaam see to it, proceeding then 
to conversation with Absalaam, who recommended 
Hamadi to the task, and invited him to smoke whilst 
Achmet, the head ^of my unfortunate compatriot's gang, 
entertained them all with the story of his uncle's wife's 
sister's marriage with a kaid from Al Ksar el Kebeer. 
In this pleasing manner the days passed, whilst the 
beautiful Bashir lay rotting at her anchorage, and tears 
and perspiration oozed from the Christian engineer. 
At length he came ashore, a saddened and ex- 


hausted man, and resigned his post ; for which piece 
of honesty all credit is due to him. 

The Bashir possessed a steam pinnace. It fell 
from its davitts, filled and sank in eight to ten 
fathoms of water. I asked a Moorish naval officer 
about this. " Oh, that's all right," he told me. " We 
know where it is ! " and he smiled blandly. Amazing 
person ! That was just three months after the pinnace 
descended to the floor of Tangier Bay. 

An English naval officer from Gibraltar was in- 
vited to offer himself as captain of the Bashir. He 
was taken over the cruiser to inspect it. After some 
trouble, and hunting in odd, out-of-the-way corners, 
the key of the ammunition and powder magazine was 
discovered, and a Moor, a deck hand, led the English- 
man into the magazine, carrying a naked light to 
show him the way withal. 

The key of this place ? Oh, the paymaster had 
that, and he was ashore. Of the other place? It 
was with the lieutenant, who was engaged at cards 
in the forecastle with the men. It appeared that the 
ship had already some seven or eight commanders, of 
whom the paymaster was the chief, and all of whom 
would be above and beyond the Christian captain's 

Presently, when it seemed that the Bashir really 
was at length to be captained and officered by 
Englishmen, an official reminder was issued of the 
tacit understanding among the Powers to the 
effect that the cruiser was not to be officered by 
Europeans. At once the English withdrew. 
Immediately, then, the captaincy and engineers' berths 
were offered to Germans, and by them accepted. 
These were the gentlemen who very hospitably 


received me when I inspected the Moorish navy. 
The attitude of the English in this little piece of 
jugglery, by the way, is quite singularly typical of 
the English attitude in Morocco generally as 
theirs is of the German. 

There was not half a pound of paint aboard the 
cruiser. There was not the wherewithal to get np 
sufficient steam with which to heave anchor. She had 
not stores enough for a Thames ferry-boat. She had 
nothing, save her beautiful, rotting hull, her beautiful, 
rotting fixtures, and her beautiful, rotting engines. 
Conning tower, torpedo tube (but no torpedoes), 
I search-light apparatus, four 100 mm. Vavasour pivot 
guns (from Newcastle), six small quick-firers, two 
field-guns every intricate modern appliance this 
cruiser had, and all were left to rust and decay as 
Allah and the elements so willed. 

The men ate, and spilled, their food on the decks, 
they smoked all day long and all over the ship ; 
discipline was unknown among them, and they were 
entirely without sense, or hours, of duty. They 
squatted about in the Sultan's satin-upholstered and 
gorgeously-decorated quarters. " The Sultan has 
plenty of money," they said ; " and then, no Sultan 
would ever go on board a ship." 

A pathetic object was the Moorish man-of-war. (I 
was quite pleased to learn the other day that she had 
been sold.) 


IT is on the cards that you have never witnessed or 
taken part in the Moorish annual Feast of the 
Sheep. It fell during the first months of one of my 
early visits to Tangier. Let me give you my notes, 
as they stand, of the impression I received of it then. 

That I should have forgotten the festival aftei 
being forewarned regarding it was a piece of culpabl< 
negligence on my part. That I was not reminded oi 
it by the prodigious number of sheep to be seen 
abroad, about the streets and market-places, slung 
upon donkeys, tethered under shadowy archways, and 
borne upon men's shoulders Morocco is for ever 
stirring one with misty hails from one's childhood's 
study of pictures in the family Bible this is a circum- 
stance for which I can offer no reason or excuse. 

During a couple of days I had noticed a sort of 
restless expectancy about the demeanour of my good 
rascal, Selaam Marrakshi. Last night this uneasiness 
seemed to approach a climax, and, callous Nazarene 
that I was, I inquired carelessly as to its cause. 

" Have you been eating too much kesk'soo, 
Selaam, or smoking too much kief?" 

" No, sir, I don' to smoke kief now, an' I don' to 
eat kesk'soo these ten an' four days." A pregnant 
pause, compact of injured innocence and reproach. 
" Ghadda (to-morrow) he's Feast of Sheep, sir ! " 

" God bless my soul, you don't say so ! And you 

1 86 


no got sheep, and no new slippers, what ? Come 
along, Selaam ; we'll go to S6k." 

So, with a sigh of relief, the rascal rose from his 
heels and followed me out along the moonlit beach, 
and up by the stony hill road to Tangier's market- 
place, where, among the tiny bazaars, Selaam was 
saluted by friends innumerable, the most of whom 
glanced in surprise at his distinctly maculate 
slippers ; some of whom asked, railingly, if his sheep 
were fat yet and ready for the pot. It seemed my 
forgetfulness was known. 

The bright, new, lemon-coloured, red-soled slippers 
we soon acquired from an obese dignitary, in orange 
and mauve satin, who was doing a thriving trade in 
these commodities, at famine prices, among foolish 
virgins like ourselves who had tarried over long and 
left the making of these all-important purchases to the 
very eve of the Feast day itself. In the matter of a 
sheep we were not so easily suited. Every second 
man we met seemed to have one of the bleating 
creatures about his person, either on his shoulders, in 
his arms, or dragging behind him on a cord. But our 
quest was a man with two of them ; for such a person 
might sell, while the man with but one, so it appeared, 
had forfeited Paradise and given a Sultan the go-by 
rather than part with his next day's mutton. 

At length we happened on a certain Shareef of 
our acquaintance, a minor saint, with three sheep 
and a keen nose for a bargain. We took seats beside 
this holy chafferer and commenced a long discussion 
upon " heaven and date-stones." Long time we 
gossiped over coffee and snuff before Selaam ventured, 
very casually, on a question as to the value of the 
meanest among the three tethered sheep. 


"That! Oh, eight dollars and a half is his price. 
And so the Sultan has really called our Basha to 
Marrakish. Y' Allah t'if! And how the world 
wags on ! " 

It was cleverly done, and the yawn with which 
the remark ended was a miracle of listless, holiday 
indifference. But we bought that sheep, Selaam and 
I, and that for a shade less than half the amount first 
mentioned by our holy friend, Shareef Achmet. And, 
having bought the creature, we devoted the next hour 
or so of that moonshiny night to getting our purchase 
home. Awhile Selaam carried it about his neck, a 
bleating boa, one pair of legs over either shoulder. 
Wearying of this we returned our mutton to earth, an< 
tried twisting its woolly tail as a means of encouraging 
it toward our home and its place of translation. 
Ultimately, and by the pale light of a now declining 
moon, we crossed the hotel terrace, each holding, 
wheel-barrow fashion, a hind-leg of our sheep, th< 
which we thus urged onward upon its propping an< 
unwilling fore-feet. 

Where the sheep passed the night I cannot say. 
I plead guilty to having deserted Selaam upon th< 
hotel terrace, where, for aught I know, he may hav< 
trundled the bleating, imbecile creature to and fro till 
morning. A retiring disposition forced me withii 
doors (within back-doors, to be exact) what tim< 
Selaam navigated his sheep past the entrance. Amon< 
mine own people I was reluctant to give prominent 
to my connection with our sheep. 

Next morning, as I stood talking to a Spanisl 
lady, a sudden, furious bleating made me aware that 
the wretched creature, anticipating the cook's knife 
was endeavouring to hang itself on a palmetto con 


by which it had been tethered to a balustrade. I felt 
myself positively blushing. I declined to recognise 
the beast, and endeavoured to draw my companion 
away when Selaam came, scurrying, to the suicide's 
rescue. I effusively concurred with the Spanish lady's 
comment upon the foolishness of allowing country 
Moors to tether their animals about the hotels. I 
could have slain Selaam when, a moment later, he 
approached us, smirking, with, 

"That our sheep, sir, he near to die; he goin' to 
be hang, only I come quick !" And I had been 
getting on so nicely with my laborious . little Spanish 

It is a queer business, this Feast of the Sheep. 
The only thing about it which is definitely known and 
understood would appear to be the interesting facts 
that it comes once a year, and that it is an occasion 
of peace-making and over-eating. Four aged and 
respected expounders of Alkoran, long in the beard 
and of great piety, have assured me that the Feast 
commemorates that great trial of Abraham's faith in 
which Isaac came near to a most unpleasant end. 
Three other mubasheers, with beards of almost equal 
reverence, scout this explanation as smacking of 
Jewry ; not Abraham, but a friend of Mohammed, say 
these gentlemen, originated the Feast. Selaam assures 
me that when he was a boy the teaching was that the 
plagues of Egypt were at the bottom of the Sheep 
Feast. Finally, an Arabic scholar tells me that if I 
question one thousand Moorish observers of the 
Feast, some five of them may be able to tell me what 
it commemorates. For his part my learned friend 
supports the Abraham explanation. 

However, leaving these abstruse questions to the 


long-bearded, you have my word for it that it is a 
great tumasha, this Feast of the Sheep ; and that, if I 
know anything of my man, his over-burdened 
digestive organs will insist upon a banan day 
to-morrow. With my hand upon my heart I can assure 
you that he has this day personally disposed of well- 
nigh half a sheep, besides other small matters of 
confectionery and several gallons of syrupy green 
tea, with fresh mint in it, and sugar past all reckoning. 
A full and pious Muslim is Selaam Marrakshi this 
night ; but particularly and with emphasis is he a full 
Muslim. If there be one that is fuller, in El Moghreb, 
then I should be glad to meet the man, and sorry to 
carry him. 

But with regard to the function : At half-past six 
this morning I was roused by Selaam with a round- 
about request for the loan of my rifle, of his relation- 
ship to which he is tremendously proud, magazine 
rifles being as yet rare in the Sultan's dominions. 
Subsequently, I was grateful to notice that my horse 
had been given a superlatively fine grooming. That 
was my innocence, Another roundabout request left 
me without a horse for this morning. Selaam had 
borrowed the animal, and had produced, for its further 
ornamentation, a gorgeous crimson, green and gold 
saddle, high-peaked before and behind, and of most 
elaborate workmanship. My own saddle was un- 
obtrusively cinched upon a hired screw, held near by 
by a ragged prottgt of Selaam's. 

Selaam's pate was new shaven, the tassel of his 
new tarboosh was nearer a foot than six inches in 
length, his yellow Moorish riding-boots were new- 
embroidered in crimson silk, a yard and a half of dark 
blue bernous trailed behind him on the breeze ; my gun 


was at his hip, his features radiated a shining dignity, 
and my horse was fretted and pricked into a diagonal 
progress consisting of short prancing caracoles. Oh, 
it was a brave show ! My preceding it on the tame, 
hired nag suggested a groom who had forgotten his 
place. So, presently, I withdrew ; not to put too fine 
a point upon it, I trotted meekly away by a side 
street, and so mounted alone to the outer S6k, leaving 
Selaam, a procession in himself, to join his fellow- 
believers on the Kasbah hill, where the Basha would 
presently initiate the day's proceedings. 

For myself, I waited in the market-place among 
Jew sweetmeat pedlars and other perspiring infidels. 
You must understand that the great m'sallah, or 
enclosed praying field of Tangier, stands beside the 
British Legation, on the crest of the market-place hill, 
well without the city walls and Bab el Fds their 
principal gate. The chief mosque, on the other hand, 
is within the walls, at the city's lowest extremity, 
near the beach, and at the foot of the steep main 
street. While I spurred my reluctant hack about 
among the Sok pedlars and holiday-making Moors, 
new-shaven, new-shod and new-scrubbed withal, I 
perceived that, for the present, attention centred upon 
the m'sallah on the hilltop. Clean and pious Believers, 
themselves in white, their children garbed in material 
of every hue seen in rainbows, formed a constant, 
slow-moving stream from the town to the m'sallah. 

Presently, with a flourish of drums and horns, a 
huge banner of the Prophet's own green appeared 
under the arch of Bab el Fas ; The Holy Shareef of 
Wazzan, Moulai Ali, by Allah's wonder-working grace, 
a lineal child of Mohammed and of an English 
mother, who was married to the late Saint of Wazzan 


in the British Legation his banner. The Shareef 
and his train made a gallant show ; white horses, 
peaked saddles, gilt stirrups, and green and gold 
trappings, fluttering. Women crooned their shrill 
acclamations, men pressed forward among the 
Shareef s armed runners to kiss his sacred stirrups 
and others shrugged, smiled, and stared, indifferent. 
Every man has his following in Morocco. Diplomatic 
France has made a protege of this young Shareef, 
and so Algerian soldiers from the Legation formed 
part of Moulai Ali's train on this occasion. 

More drum-beating, and incongruously enough 
in these biblically Eastern surroundings the blare ol 
a European bugle-call. The men of the Moorisl 
navy, El Bashirs crew, walking, like a young ladies' 
seminary out for exercise, and headed by theii 
gorgeous commander-paymaster and their mon 
humble other commanders. 

After the navy, the chief among land-sharks for 
this country-side, the Basha of Tangier and district, 
on a corpulent red mule, a moving hillock of hauteur 
in cream-coloured cashmere and silk. Then the 
Basha's soldiery, a truculent set of ruffians, usually 
as disreputable externally as they are morally corrupt, 
on this occasion smart in new djellabs and snowy 
kaftans. Behind them, sublimely arrogant, showing 
off my horse and gun more bravely, God wot, than I 
could ever hope to exhibit them, Selaam Marrakshi, 
as gallant a scamp as any to be seen that day. Next, 
the Church dignitaries, afoot and on mules, downward 
gazing and proudly meek. Then a miscellaneous 
rabble, armed to the teeth, and clothed more gloriously 
than either Solomon or the lilies. 

An hour was passed in prayer within the flaky 


white walls of el m'sallah. And then a gun was fired. 
That told us who were infidels that the knife had 
entered the throat of the sacred sheep. A hurried 
scramble then, while the bleeding beast was hustled 
into a huge palmetto basket, and then the race for 
the great mosque at the far lower end of the city. 
Rushing slaves bore the basket, and a shouting 
multitude urged them on, with great sticks and 
strange, pious oaths. Should the sheep show a sign 
of life when the mosque was reached, all was well and 
a prosperous year before Morocco. Should the priest 
down there by the sea find the creature quite dead 
all was ill, and Believers in El Moghreb must prepare 
for an evil, hungry year. 

We waited, silent, there in the market-place. 

Boom ! Boom ! Boom ! The port guns told the 
news. The sheep had reached the mosque alive, 
expiring at the threshold, no doubt. All was well. 
Every Believer took his neighbour's hand, conveying 
then his own fingers to his lips in salutation. All 
quarrels between Believers were at an end. Peace 
and goodwill reigned supreme, with a keen appetite 
for mutton and kesk'soo. Vendettas ended in that 
moment for the day at all events. The procession 
trailed back from the m'sallah, amid crooning 
acclamations and drum-beatings, and every man set 
off homeward to kill and cook his sheep. 

In the afternoon the very air was heavy with 
repletion. Women fried and men sighed. Repletion 

It was a brave day, this of the Feast of the Sheep 
n Tangier. 



TO me, the unending marvel of Tangier is that 
it is ; and that; being what it is, the place 
should be where it is. 

Here it basks in year-long sunshine on the 
shoulder of Africa, under the chin of Europe, a frag- 
ment of the savage, old, beautiful world in whicl 
Joseph's brothers looked enviously upon his many- 
coloured coat and schemed (one sees them squatting 
in a straggling, nudging group, over the mid-day 
meal in the baked, dry bed of a stream, where bul- 
rushes rustle to tell one of what was, and lemon- 
coloured locusts dispute passage betwixt sand-crusted 
flat stones with rainbow-hued lizards and industrious, 
scavenging beetles) to make away with him. It is a 
drowsily living sheet from out the oldest, most 
gorgeously-illustrated family Bible that ever eager 
English children pored over upon a fresh Northern 
Sabbath afternoon. A Missionary Society's chromo- 
lithographs could hardly outrage Tangier. For the 
atmosphere of fair, twinkling feet, Circassian beauties, 
the savour of the Harun er-Rasheed legend you 
must fare farther. But for the earth in its lusty, 
pastoral youth, not as science shows it you, but as 
you learned of it at your mother's knee milk and 
honey, slow-moving sheep herds, eternal sunshine, 
crude, vivid colouring and miracles here you have it 

1 In the spring of the year 1900. 




preserved to your hand, five days from Liverpool 
Street and almost within reach of electric search- 
lights on modern British fortifications. 

That is the standing marvel of Tangier. And you 
should look upon it while you may. For just so soon 
as the dessicated and worm-eaten monarchy here 
crumbles and disappears at the touch of European 
occupation, like wood-ash before a gust of wind, just 
then and no later will the last easily-available link 
between Genesis and the world of halfpenny daily 
papers melt into the sunbeams and disappear. 
Meantime, it is here, on the shoulder of Africa, blink- 
ing across a few miles of laughing, pearl-fretted 
turquoise water at Europe and its buzz of civilisation. 

But that is only Tangier. Would you glimpse 
the inwardness of things Moorish ? (There's time 
and to spare for you to grow grey in the pursuit if 
your quest be insight and not merely a glimpse.) 
Would you taste the essence of Moorish life, sniff its 
real atmosphere, catch the sense of it ? Then the 
word for you is " Boot and saddle," or, " Slipper and 
burda," as you choose you must take to the Open 
Road; and open in all conscience you will find it as the 
windy Atlantic or the sun-paralysed Sahara. And 
you must do this, you must travel, not particularly for 
the sake of reaching this place or the other. That is 
a small matter. Your lesson and the knowledge you 
shall gain lies in the going, the journeying, the Road 
itself and its happenings ; that Open Road to the 
stirring song of which, as Stevenson said, "our 
nomadic forefathers journeyed all their days." For 
thus and not otherwise you shall sense the true 
meaning of things Moorish. Allans ! 

It did seem that you might have lighted your 


cigarette at the fire my words struck from Selaam's 
eyes yesterday when I told him to have all ready for 
a week's journeying this morning. If before he had 
been a man of affairs, then he was a field-marshal 
with a new-drafted plan of campaign in his pocket. 
The stage-manager and the gipsy contend in 
Selaam Marrakshi for the mastery of his nature. 
My personal attitude toward the open road is a thing 
long since understanded by this Moor, and accord- 
ingly our modest caravan had scarcely drawn a glance 
or a thought from you had you met us, in the cool, 
amethyst-roofed first sunshine of this morning, when 
we jogged out from the hotel terrace and along the 
beach toward Shwaanee and the Tetuan Road. 

There was first my Lord Selaam, squatting lady's 
fashion and comfortably among a few odds and ends 
of impedimenta, on the flat Moorish burda of a red 
mule, which carried its hammer-head as do the china 
mandarins that bob at one from nursery mantel- 
shelves. Partly led, partly driven, and continuously 
sworn at in an even, genial tone by Selaam was our 
pack-mule, a rusty, dingy, flea-bitten grey, qualified, I 
believe, to walk safely a tight-rope, laden as he was 
this morning with a bulging shwarri (a great double 
pannier of palmetto) containing a fold-up cot, rugs, 
food and the few other small matters which, from my 
point of view, form all that is necessary in the way of 
baggage when one takes to the road. For main 
body, rear-guard and camp-followers our caravan 
had myself between the peaks of an Algerian saddle 
astride a quick-walking black horse we call Zemouri ; 
a gallant beast of a disposition that is invincibly 
buoyant and a mouth which is harder than the nether 


And that was all. 

If you have your own European saddle in 
Morocco and you are attached to it (I take it every 
decent Christian is fond of his own saddle), do not 
take it with you in the country. The life of the road 
in Morocco is not good for cherished pig-skin. But, 
on the other hand, I beseech you allow no malicious 
wight to beguile you into riding a Moorish saddle. 
Better, far better, to put away dignity and perch 
yourself sideways on a mule's pack ; no bad plan at 
all, this, if comfort be your aim. The Moorish saddle 
is a picturesque snare, an invention of some Moorish 
djinn for the subjugation and torture of rash 
Nazarenes, whose knees it paralyses with a long-drawn 
agony of aching, the which, without experience, may 
be conceived of adequately only by martyrs to 
neuralgia. The high-peaked Algerian saddle, how- 
ever, particularly when you fold a blanket over the 
grip, provides an easy, restful seat for journeying. 

Should you, being an orthodox and proper person, 
seek advice in the orthodox and proper quarters 
before setting out upon the Open Road in Morocco, 
you will be bidden take a Basha's soldier with you 
for guard. And this is very sound and excellent 
counsel. For should you, peradventure, be murdered 
and robbed by the wayside, and if a Basha's soldier is of 
your party, then shall your heirs and assignees obtain 
fat indemnity through their honourable Legation 
from the Moorish Government ; which Government 
will quite cheerfully lay waste an odd village or two, 
and even torture and imprison the inhabitants, to 
obtain the wherewithal to recompense your weeping 
heirs for your demise. Should their claim be ten 
thousand dollars, the screw will be applied to the tune 


of twenty thousand dollars ; fifteen thousand for 
the local squeezers, five thousand for your bereaved 
assignees. On the other hand, should you, ignoring 
the counsels of the orthodox, journey without one of 
the parasitical brigands called Basha's soldiers, then, 
in the case of such an accident as the one mentioned, 
your heirs will have, perforce, to pay the mourning 
tailor and dressmaker from out their own pockets, 
instead of with pence ground out from a starving, 
persecuted peasantry who never heard of either you, 
your heirs, or orders for mourning wear. Therefore 
you will see at once the propriety of being guided by 
orthodox counsels. You will see it at once, and if 
you act upon it, good-bye to your chances of hearing 
the music of the true vagabond Song <3f the Open 

Again, your respected friend who knows will tell 
you that you require at least one or two European 
companions, two or three tents, half-a-dozen animals, 
a cook, three other men, and it may be, if your 
friend is very wise and proper a four-post bedstead 
or so. Very excellent things in their way these, 
without a doubt. Therefore, you will see at once the 
propriety of acting upon your friend's advice. And 
when you act upon it you will doubtless* travel with 
comfort and perfect safety. You will never reach the 
Open Road, however. And, for comfort in travelling, 
a Pullman on the London and North-Western is 
hard to beat, you know. 

For my Lord Selaam and me, we were bound for 
the Open Road this morning, hence the unobtrusive, 
unceremonious nature of our outsetting. And hence 
it was, perchance, that the sunny morning air had 
a song of its own for my ears as it swished past 


them we rode up the breeze and that, as we 
crossed lush Shwaanee, and began to mount the hills, 
I found myself humming a tripping, foolish tune, 
belonging (for me) to boyish, seafaring days. Hence, 
too, it may have been that Selaam was crooning a 
Sheshawan love-song in the recesses of his grey 
sugar-loaf djellab-hood, and that Zemouri, my 
mettlesome Rozinante, pretended to see mares in 
palmetto bushes, whinnied absurdly to the non- 
existent fair, and endeavoured to persuade me that a 
.crab-like, three-legged, rocking-horse movement was 
the best gait possible for a journey. 

Herd-boys on the wayside tootled at us upon reed 
pipes ; mooning cattle lowed at us ; almost naked 
village children tumbled one over another in a race 
toward our path, there to stare and laugh at us; 
heaven, smiling, poured down morning-time, spring- 
of-the-year sunshine upon us ; the earth, full-fed by 
the recently-ended spring rains (the last it was to 
taste for six or eight months), was calling, calling to 
us, strongly and sweetly, with a call that might not 
be denied. It seemed that all El Moghreb and the 
hosts of heaven knew us for vagabonds bound out- 
ward, and bade us God-speed ; presented us with the 
freedom of^the Open Road. 

So Selaam sang crooning love-songs in his djellab- 
hood, to his own running accompaniment of pleasant 
oaths addressed to *he mules. " Get along, then, 
spawn of many pigs ! On then, children of vermin- 
eating Sok rats ! " And, speaking of djellab-hoods, 
permit me to offer you a piece of counsel which is not 
orthodox, yet, natheless, possibly worth the following. 
Should you ever go a-journeying in Morocco, furnish 
yourself beforehand with a djellab, with one of the 


short, hooded outer garments which all Moors wear. 
Three or four dollars will purchase one, and its worth 
you shall find to exceed that of many dollars. It 
serves to make your Christian garb less conspicuous, 
to mention one of its lesser virtues, and one which at 
certain times and places is more than a lesser virtue. 
In rain it is a very fair protection to a horseman. 
The really rain-proof garment for riding in has yet 
to be invented. In strong winds (the Levanta is not 
a kindly or a gentle breeze) the djellab will save you 
many a headache, and preserve you, as well as any 
thing can, from the inflictions of dust and sand. The 
great virtue of the garment, however, putting aside its 
minor uses as rug, carpet, pillow and the like, lies in 
its admirable qualities as a shelter from too-powerful 
sunshine. In this respect the difference made at the 
end of a long day's ride by the possession or non- 
possession of a djellab is something difficult to ex- 
aggerate. It is as much to be commended, for use 
upon the road, as the Moorish saddle is to be depre- 
cated and shunned. 

Mention again (the atmosphere of this Biblical 
land makes for scriptural tautology) of the road 
in Morocco brings me to one of its most striking 
eccentricities : There are no roads in Morocco, not 
one, in the sense in which a European rider or 
driver speaks of a road. But then you see there are 
no vehicles, not one, except an old Georgian state 
coach or two in the royal cities presents from 
European courts, moored and derelict since their 
arrival here, and used indifferently as cupboards or 
as stationary playthings for the ladies of the harem. 
A road in Morocco is a series of more or less parallel 
hoofs-marks beaten out of the earth by generations 


of horses, mules, camels, donkeys, goats, cattle and 

foot-passengers, varying in width from a hundred 

yards to three feet, skirting gorges, dodging boulders, 

circumventing mountains, and leading one, by fell and 

flood, in Allah's good time, to the habitations of men. 

Navigation upon these tracks is one of the many and 

varied interests of travel in Morocco, and one calling 

for the exercise, at times, of the best a man has of 

skill, decision, care and resource. This and other 

calls I have this day responded to, to the best of 

my ability, during twelve full, good hours such full 

hours as one seldom lives in these days among towns 

and men. I find that I have quite omitted in this 

place all description of our day's journey. No matter. 

That is part and parcel of journeying in Morocco. I 

find I have this evening an urgent need, a deliciously 

urgent need, of tobacco and a recumbent position. 

That, too, like my wolfish appetite, pertains to Moorish 

travel. I regret, however, that I should not even have 

mentioned our destination Selaam's and mine's. But 

that omission is also part and parcel of the vagabond 

life of the Open Road. 

We are going, by Allah's grace, robbers, weather, 
rivers, animals, and (when we approach it) Spanish 
officialdom permitting, to Ceuta. We have the peace 
of Europe sincerely at heart, Selaam and myself. 
Ceuta is Gibraltar's African vis-d-vis. Of late rumour 
and Russia have made Ceuta a name familiar to all 
men who, like Selaam and myself, are concerned with 
the concert of the Powers, the progress of humanity, 
and its lever Anglo-Saxon supremacy. Therefore, 
if the Open Road will lead us there, we are going to 
inspect Ceuta. 


Find a man who is going through an entirely 
healthy and wholesome phase of his life, his surround- 
ings and mode* of living in accord with Nature, and 
you will have found one to whom the morning time 
contains the cream and prime of each day's existence. 
Turn to the man who is living in a highly artificial 
manner, pressed upon by the complex difficulties of all 
that in civilisation which estranges its children from 
Nature, and you will see one to whom morning is a 
grey and chilly season, a period of something like 
despondency, to be lived through and endured as 
stoically as may be, in order that the stimulation of 
evening (night is day's prime to such a man) may b< 

I have noticed, when journeying in Moroccc 
that the mornings, the out-setting of each day, 
are unfailingly delightful and full of clean, strong 

This morning, when I opened my eyes they wer< 
stimulated to full wakefulness by the picture the] 
showed me of a tiny patch of sky (such skies as day- 
break brings over Morocco!), of a hue for which 
artistry has no name and painting no simulacrum, 
enframed by an unglazed little Moorish arched window 
high up toward the beamed roof of the vault-like room 
in which my cot swung. This little room, a store 
place for coffee, tobacco in the leaf, saddles, shwarries, 
and a hundred and one ancient oddments, Selaam's 
stage-management had placed at my disposal in the 
great fandak, or walled-in corral a landmark to 
travellers in North Morocco which lies among the 
mountains south of Tetuan, and distant one day's 
journey from Tangier. Falling from their sky-gazing 
feast, mine eyes encountered the huddled figure of 


Selaam, hooded and sheeted in his grey djellab, asleep 
on the matted floor at my feet. 

I rose quietly (the Moor's care of our animals had 
disturbed his night's rest a good deal, for beasts that 
work and do not eat all day must be tended well at 
night if their condition is to be maintained) and 
stepped on through a flaky white arch to the cloister 
without ; for the queer, shadowy, covered way which 
skirted the fandak did form cloisters of a sort. There 
I picked my way gingerly among Moors sleeping in 
every variety of recumbent pose, their mules and 
donkeys tethered between them, packs and bundles 
all about them. You must remember that every kind 
of commodity, everything which has to be conveyed 
from one place to another in Morocco, is carried, 
perforce, on the back of some beast, or upon the 
shoulders of some woman. 

Once clear of the cloisters, I was upon the cobbles 
of the open fandak, with only the sky above my head. 
Language fails me when I would tell you of that sky, 
of the incomparable calm of the strange light it used 
to veil from our eyes, the mysterious beginning of 
day's birth. Something there was in the air that sang 
gladly, slowly, in my ears, and something else that 
made piteous complaint. It seemed the soul of the 
coming day made music to hide Night's pains of 
labour ; an epitome of all Nature's workings ; the 
Earth's gladness ever uppermost yet never really 
hiding its own tragedy the infinite pathos of life. 
And over all, that mysterious violet haze that baffled 
scrutiny as effectively as it baffles description, that 
says to a man, " Thus far, mortal, and no farther; 
and and that is better so, for you ! " 

While I looked and let the cool cleanness of it all 


filter into me (a man's soul needs washing at times, 
God wot, and these be the seasons and places for the 
ablution), the violet haze floated down after night in 
the west, and the hollow of heaven became mystically 
filled with essential daylight. I had time to marvel 
at this, out there on the fandak cobbles among 
reflective sheep and a few mildly melancholy oxen ; 
I had time to wonder without understanding, and 
then, by silent, unmarked degrees, night's death was 
put away from my mind, the round breast-work of 
hills about me began to whisper, gently, but with a 
million voices, and in tones of growing volume, of 
young Day, his accession. The air, roused by thei 
voices, took on a quite new life, became articulate, 
and spoke. The eastern half of the sky awoke to th< 
daily glory of its mission. A young ewe bleatec 
beside me like a child. A spear of living gold fin 
shot through the horizon. The hills' whispering 
became a psalm of acclamation, true and gladly stronj 
as a starling's note. Earth's bosom rose on a long- 
drawn breath ; the sun, intolerably splendid, stoo< 
forth among his heralds ; day had come, smilinj 
royally upon barbarous Morocco. 

I turned to the cloisters again, the cleaner for on< 
kind of a bath, I think, and bade drowsy Selaai 
bring water and soap. 

Three minutes later the whole great enclosun 
was, by comparison, full of life and movement. 
Yet not of activity as we of the North lands understan< 
that word. Your true Muslim never bustles ; a Mooi 
never hurries and does not often move quickly. Th< 
distinction is not one without a difference. In all 
directions men were crouched over stakes and heel- 
ropes, girths were being tightened (a mule's pack- 


saddle is never taken from its back during a journey : 
often the beast carries it for months at a stretch), 
shwarries adjusted, and animals were being grouped 
into caravans. Some few, sybarites, were making 
coffee in tins over charcoal braziers ; others munched 
indifferently at leathery, brown loaves while moving 
hither and thither among their beasts. Before my 
toilet was completed the great ramshackle enclosure 
was deserted ; camels, horses, mules, men and 
i donkeys, all had trailed out at the crumbling, weather- 
scarred white entrance, and made their that day's 
! start upon the Open Road. 

We drank our cafe au lait (Selaam has his own 

! mysterious methods of producing such rare luxuries 

i as fresh milk in the country. I should expect it of 

i him in the Sahara) and ate our bread and butter, the 

Moor and I, in absolute solitude ; our tiny caravan 

assembled there in a corral that had held hundreds 

: easily. Then I looked to my gun, we buckled on our 

harness, mounted and sallied out from the empty place 

of sleep into the glorious outer sunshine of the seventh 

hour after midnight. 

From the point of view, let us say, of a London 
hotel manager, there was not much to be said for the 
accommodation afforded by that fandak ; yet I doubt if 
any man stepped out of a London hotel this morning 
with just the strongly pulsing sense of satisfaction, of 
physical and moral well-being, that gave savour to 
our first cigarettes, Selaam's and mine's, as we filed 
out from our rest-house upon the mountain-side near 

For half an hour our beasts climbed, we with 
them, and then began a steady two hours' long descent 
toward Tetuan, a grandly rugged, sun-bathed panorama 


spread before us for our entertainment during those 
odd moments that could be spared for sight-seeing 
from a road in which flat boulders were oases and 
rare. I watched my black Zemouri more than once 
on that rugged mountain-side, holding one fore-foot 
deliberately in mid-air, his eyes scanning the track in 
vain for four square inches of level foot-hold. Not 
only was it no road at all, from the European point of 
view, but it was what an Irish hunting man would 
consider quite extraordinarily rough cross-country 
going. And this was a special thing, a rarity among 
Moroccan highways a made road. 

"That he's old road before, sir," explaine< 
Selaam as our animals stumbled among spiky rock* 
on the extreme edge of a crevasse. He pointed 
the gorge to where I could make out a ragged-edge< 
ribbon of scattered boulders among the palmetto an< 
scrub. Nature, by means of winter torrents, ha< 
stripped that ribbon of vegetation and of all debris 
lighter than rocks. Travellers, following in the 
torrent's wake, had called their way a road. " This 
new road, sir," continued the Moor ; " he make it 
when Sultan he come here. All the womens every- 
body ; Sheshawan mountain peepils, too, he make it ; 
everybody he work here to make road when Sultan 
he go to Tanjah. You know what for he do that, sir ? 
Why he make road, and let Sultan to pass don' to 
fight him ? " 

" No, how was it, Selaam ? " 

" Sultan peepil he tell all country peepils, Sultan 
he's goin' Tanjah to fight K'istians ! " (Christians ; 
Europeans). "That wha' for, sir. If he don' to say 
that, never he go pas' Sheshawan ; peepils he don' 
let him to pass ; never, sir ! " 



That is as it may be. The Sultan's folk may 
lave cozened the country people, may have obtained 
volunteer labour under false pretences. The thing is 
more than likely, I apprehend. But that their diplo- 
macy actually caused a road to be made across those 
mountains I would deny with my last breath. So, I 
am assured, would Zemouri and the mules. For the 
Moors, in this as in most other matters in the present 
period of their decay, are served and contented by 
the rudest kind of makeshift. Anything that an 
animal may be spurred over and does not sink in past 
his girth, that is a Moor's notion of a road. When 
some unfortunate beast is bogged past his girth, after 
rain, then its rider dismounts, unpacks, and with stick 
and voice forces his animal on, or, if the case is too 
sorry a one, leaves it there. I have seen that done 
more than once. And of such a place Selaam would 
admit that "That road, sir, 'he's little bad, not much 
water he come there ; mud he's strong, too much 
no ? " And I would nod, and Selaam would skirt the 
evil spot and, acting upon some instinct Allah has 
given him, discover in a dttour some less deadly 
track. But those things are features of winter travel 
in El Moghreb. Between April and November rocks 
and heat and hard-baked mud-holes are one's worst 
enemies ; mud in the quagmire stage is rare. 

It was past nine, and the lusty morning sunshine 
was peeling my nose, despite my djellab-hood's shelter, 
when we won to the fertile Tetuan valley and left 
those ironbound hills of the Sultan's "road" behind 
us. White-walled Tetuan lay within easy view of us 
now, most picturesquely situate upon an out-jutting 
spur among the foot-hills of a green, smoothly-outlined 
mountain range, and looking across a lush and 


meadowy valley to the scarred grey face of the wild 
mountains behind and among which lie Sheshawan 
and er-Riff; the impregnable stronghold of barbarous 
clans of hardy mountain bandits and pirates who 
fight cheerfully among themselves, pour passer le temps 
and to keep their hands in, whilst entirely and success- 
fully defying all authorities from the Sultan downward, 
and challenging the venturesome Christian traveller 
to visit their confines if he dare, and if he be tired of 
life. Grand, snow-capped, rugged heights these, more 
inaccessible than Thibet to the Nazarene and occupy- 
ing a position in relation to civilisation which is pro- 
bably without a parallel in this hemisphere. 

One feature this town of Tetuan possesses is 
common with many another Moorish city to which 
I have journeyed. One approaches it from the 
mountains at the end, it may be, of a long, hot day's 
ride. One turns a bend in a winding track, an< 
suddenly there is Tetuan in full view, gleaming whit< 
and close at hand. One sighs and slackens one' 
grip of the saddle, full of that weariness which is 
well worth attaining the weariness that lends rare an< 
delicious zest to one's rest and refreshment, tbu 
weariness which makes real refreshment, such as 
never tasted in highly-civilised surroundings, possibl< 
a thing to be enjoyed and remembered. One feels foi 
a cigarette, and then " But no, we shall be there in 
quarter of an hour. I will wait." 

A full two hours later one draws rein outside th< 
fandak in Tetuan. 

Travel in Morocco teaches many lessons, and, 
among them, none more thoroughly and well than that 
of the virtue of enduring patience. Its method of 
education is Nature's finely inexorable method. 


Thus : The touch of fire burns ; observe and act 
accordingly ; here is no shirking, excuse, or possible 
extenuation ; it burns, first and last and always ; learn 
this lesson, or be, neither whipped, wept over, excused 
or rebuked, but just burned. 

Tetuan city was no more than a wayside station of 
our day's journey, and our little caravan clattered 
noisily through its arched cobbled streets with never a 
pause, save one of a few moments in the market-place, 
while Selaam purchased and heaped before him a few 
bundles of fresh grass for the animals. On the town's 
far side, and just as we emerged among the saints' 
graves from its northern gate, a file of women passed 
us, bowed down under great burdens of market pro- 
duce. One carried an earthern jar of milk, and her 
Selaam accosted, but (as became a good Muslim) 
without looking at her face. 

" Oh, woman," said he, scanning space, " thou hast 
milk there?" 

" Ihyeh ! " The woman eyed her sand-encrusted 

" And the price thereof? " 

" Three bilion." 

" Here be two ; give me the milk, woman." 

" O man, but my jar and I a poor woman." 

"See! Here is another penny for thy jar! 
nve ! " 

" H'm ! It would seem to be God's will, O man. 

So we rode on with our jar of milk, and presently, 
inder the shadowy lee of a high bamboo hedge, we 
lismounted, loosed girths, placed grass before the 
inimals, and sat down to devour vast quantities of 
>read, fruit, cold chicken and meat. Ten-thirty seems 


a suitable enough hour for tiffin after four hours in the 

Three hours later, after traversing a scrub-covered 
plain and a flower-carpeted range of hills, we emerged 
in brilliant searching sunshine upon the powdery white 
beach of the Mediterranean, thirty-two hours after 
leaving Tangier's Atlantic bay. Till close upon sun- 
down we plodded along beside the sea. A Mediter- 
ranean beach makes heavy going by reason that, the 
sea being very nearly tideless, the sand is always dry 
and powdery, covering a horse's leg half way to the 
knee at every step. Yet there is a slight rise and fall 
of tide in this part of the Mediterranean, as we were 
presently to prove to ourselves, Selaam and myself. 

The sun was dipping low for evening, a lurid, 
theatrical sunset, when we reached the mouth of a j 
river, no more than forty or fifty feet broad. A 
swirling, quarrelling treacherous-seeming stream it 
was, here still and darkling, there rushing like a mill- 
race ; an inconsequent and uncertain little river with 
apparently no definite aim or purpose in life. On its 
brink before us stood two fishermen with three 
donkeys. In the stream's middle a third man was 
swimming with that plunging violence which 
bespeaks panic. He was safe enough, however, for 
though driven over the bar into the sea, he landed, 
with no great difficulty, a dozen paces below us. Not 
so the unfortunate donkey belonging to this rash 
wight. The master, finding the current too strong for 
him, had turned back, lending nothing more than the 
assistance of his voice, in fervid blasphemy, to the 
animal. Now that donkey was a mere brown fleck 
upon the opaque evening sea. I cannot understand 
why the poor beast's seaward progress should have 


been so swift, but it seemed to me that a few minutes 
sufficed to carry it beyond our range of vision in the 
rapidly-diminishing half-light of that sunset. 

And now the owner of the lost donkey approached 
us, dripping and scant of breath, and began to make 
his moan to heaven and to us. His plaint was a 
grotesque piece of bathos. 

" Oh, my donkey," he wailed, apostrophising the 
distant speck; "would that I were in thy place, 
another in mine, for, O, a donkey without a master is 
worth at least six dollars; but; I, Cassim, without my 
donkey, what smallest penny am I worth ? Oh, my 
donkey, my donkey ; why would you leave our El 
Moghreb ? What infidel land do you seek now ? Yd 
wail! ! Ya waili ! " 

So there we were stranded, Selaam, the fishermen, 
the animals and myself, with never a loaf of bread 
between us, eight or ten miles distant from Ceuta, a 
town, by the way, the gates of which are not opened 
to prince or pauper once they have been closed at an 
early stage of evening. The fishermen thought the 
river might be fordable soon after midnight. They 
were not sure. Allah was very great. Meantime 
our position was very typical, very characteristic, of 
the happenings which come to beguile the way for who 
chooses to take to the Open Road in Morocco. 

Twenty-four hours ago we were brought to a 
standstill, Selaam, myself and our little caravan, 
by the unfordable condition of the river which has 
to be crossed by those who would approach Spanish 
Ceuta from Moorish Tetuan. It seems to me more 
like twenty-four days, but let me tell you how we 


I think I have stated before that, having relied on 
passing last night in Ceuta, we recklessly ate our fill 
by the wayside in the morning, and even fed two 
urchins and three pariah dogs, leaving ourselves with 
nothing, save, as accident ruled it, three square inches 
of bread, a handful of dates, and a tin of Danish 
butter ; excellent items in their way, yet scarcely 
calculated, of themselves, to provide with an adequate 
evening meal two mules, a horse, an able-bodied 
Moor, and a hungry Nazarene. No, it was inade- 
quate ; and, to tell the plain truth, I was conscious, 
while turning away from that annoying little river's 
edge, of a sensation of hungry regret in connectioi 
with the odd loaf and section of a chicken which w< 
had, with such a finely careless generosity dividec 
among chubby infants and lean pariahs that morning. 
Hunger is so intimate and personal a matter. An< 
you are to remember that we had passed seven con- 
secutive hours in the saddle since that bread an< 
chicken episode. 

The question of where we should spend the night 
appealed to me less urgently. The evening air was 
pleasant enough, and the sky a sufficiently good roof 
in such weather. And, while I was assuring myself 
of this, rain began to fall, warmly, gently, and with an 
even quietness which suggested great reserves of 
watery wealth and beneficence. A most fortunate and 
little-expected boon to Moorish agriculturists without 
a doubt; but "Selaam," I said severely, drawing 
my bridle hand under the djellab-sleeve's shelter; 
" you must find a house. You savvy any village here 

"No, sir; I think he don' got any village here. 
Come on, sir ; I find something." 


So we moved on in the moist darkness, ourselves 
and the animals, the two fishermen with their animals, 
and the other fisherman with his grotesque exclama- 
tions and waitings regarding his drowned and departed 
donkey. Why this bereaved, mild maniac and his 
silent friends attached themselves to us I cannot say. 
They, like ourselves possessed no food nor shelter ; 
so far we were akin. 

It appeared to me that we scaled several mountains 
and traversed many very rocky gorges, but Selaam 
solemnly assures me that our way was " not far too 
much, sir ! " and I am bound to accept, even though 
I cannot entirely comprehend, his assurance. At all 
events, we ultimately stumbled upon two mud and 
wattle huts, each about the size of a four-post bed- 
stead, the pair standing under the lee of a very 
thoroughly ruined tower ; a relic of Spanish occupa- 
tion here, but a relic in too advanced a state of decay 
to admit of its affording shelter for a crow. Upon 
investigation, we found that one of these huts held a 
charcoal-burner and two of his friends all Moors, of 
course. The other hut gave shelter to the charcoal- 
burner's wife and two children. And we were five, 
including our fishermen followers. To me the 
prospect of shelter seemed dubious. 

I am bound to say, however, that when Selaam 
had explained the situation, the charcoal-burner and 
his friends turned out of their hut, and squatted on 
the damp earth outside, whilst waving me in to their 
hovel as though that were the barest and most matter- 
of-course kind of courtesy. The host said, " Marhabba 
bi-kum ! " (Welcome to thee), with something of an 
air, and some clean boards, the bottom boards of a 
boat they were, were laid on the earth within this tiny 


hut for me to sit on. The eaves of the hut, by the 
way, ran down to within two and a half feet of the 
ground, and the doorway was, say, two feet wide and 
three high. At one end the hut, from ridge-pole to 
within two feet of earth, was open ; a fact for which I 
was subsequently made most thankful. I mention 
these things here because the place was quite typical of 
the houses of the poorer country Moors. 

I gave my horse two of our odd dozen of Tafilet 
dates and announced that anyone who could beg, 
borrow or steal me some barley should be rewarded. 
Our host smiled and shrugged at the idea of there 
being any person in his locality rich enough to b< 
possessed of barley or of horses to eat it. Neverthe- 
less, when I displayed a little silver, two men girde< 
up their loins, took clubs, and set off in the darkness 
to hunt for horse-feed. 

In various other respects a mule is better suite< 
than a horse to the exigencies of the road in Morocco, 
but particularly is this so in the matter of feeding. 
A mule will eat anything that its teeth can penetrate, 
and many things which they cannot. I have never 
met the horse, on the other hand, that was not by 
way of being an epicure, and an epicure, too, that 
would liefer starve than eat food unsuited to its 
palate. Irregularity in feeding would appear to 
affect mules but very slightly. Let your barb go 
dinnerless for one night, however, and on the next 
day your spurs, if you have the heart to use them, 
shall appeal to him in vain for anything more than 
the most languid and spiritless sort of gait. The 
mule, on the other hand, conspicuously devoid as he 
invariably is of gallantry or dash, has the stubborn, 
passive virtues of his temperament, and, if he cannot 


rise to an emergency, rarely falls short of his normal 
attainments till he lays him down for the last time. 

I was unable to swing my cot in the charcoal- 
burner's hut, for, had I done so, the little place had 
been entirely filled. So when our animals were as 
well disposed as might be under the ruined tower's 
lee, I squatted down on my boards, with a rug, in the 
hut, and bade Selaam bring in the host and his 
friends. A soaking rain was falling outside, and I 
could not well permit these poor fellows to expose 
themselves to it while there was a spare inch in the 
hut. They crawled in with two of the fishermen 
and squatted solemnly in the hut, sharing between 
them one long kief-pipe and two fiat black loaves 
of bran bread. 

Presently the two seekers after barley and its 
reward returned, sodden but triumphant, with a small 
measure of barley, beans and corn. They were duly 
rewarded, and our animals received the treasurable 
find, Zemouri, the horse, as I need hardly say, being 
given the cream of it. Then the sodden ones 
crawled into the hut and steamed there, telling, at 
great length, their adventures during the two hours 
they had devoted to foraging on my behalf. Selaam 
and myself, we munched at our fragment of bread 
and ate our handful of dates, save two, which I put 
aside for Zemouri's delectation next morning. 

Heralded by the furious yelping of two gaunt curs 
outside the hut, there presently came to us yet 
another visitor, a little, black-avised fellow, hairy 
as Esau, with roving eyes, and an old Spanish 
musket. By a miracle, the newcomer found a few 
inches of space into which he was able to insinuate 
his person. I made inquiry, and was informed that 


the newcomer was a robber by profession, and that 
he sought shelter now from one of his nightly prowls, 
by reason of the dirty weather. I mechanically 
loosened the revolver holster on my belt as this 
piece of information reached me ; and Selaam, notic- 
ing the gesture, shook his head reassuringly. 

" No, no, sir ; he all right ; he very good man, sir. 
Suppose he find you outside, yes!" Selaam drew 
one brown forefinger suggestively across his throat. 
11 But here never, sir! The man who belong this 
house, he friend for that robber. Never he rob you 
here only if you sleep too much." 

This was certainly satisfactory, so far as it went. I 
saw no great likelihood of our dropping off to sleep in 
a hut that had been small for three, and that now held 
ten. I did doze, however, more than once during 
the small hours, the point of that honourable robber's 
long dagger-sheath touching the leg of one of my 
riding-boots, my shoulders wedged in the great 
Algerian saddle. But each time my eyes opened I 
saw Selaam smoking, quietly watchful, my rifle across 
his knees. 

Such a lurid little interior it was, with its wall of 
windy, rain-swept sky at one end, its curious store of 
flotsam from forgotten Mediterranean wrecks a hatch- 
cover, boat's bottom-boards, and an old, worm-eaten 
stern-sheet board, bearing in half-obliterated green 
letters the word " Dolores " ; these things and its 
curious human occupants, hard, gaunt, hungry, weather- 
stained, and only half-human it seemed, having no 
need, apparently, of sleep, expecting no more in life 
than a little rude shelter and a little scurvy black bread 
each day ; robbing whom they might, killing when 
they must, working fitfully as men may have worked 


in the Stone Age, risking life and limbs each day for a 
few pence, themselves being robbed, beaten and 
imprisoned at intervals, when information reached 
some hungry local authorities of a haul having been 
made on this rocky shore, some would-be smugglers 
having been successfully robbed, or killed and robbed. 
An odd lodging for the night, this of mine below 

We did not ford that obstinate little river at its 
mouth after all, though grey daybreak found us 
waiting on its brink ; Zemouri munching good- 
humouredly, and pretending that my two dates re- 
quired ten minutes of pleasant mastication. One of 
the fishermen came near to losing his life in testing the 
ford for us, and subsequently, with his fellows, guided 
us, by a long detour, over swampy, scrub-covered 
marshes, to an inland ford which we crossed with dry 
saddle-flaps. During the most part of the time Ceuta 
was well within view, high and dry on the far-out 
jutting horn of the great bay we were skirting. 

Toward noon we reached a ramshackle Moorish 
guard-house, on the confines of the neutral strip 
between Spanish Ceuta and Moorish territory. The 
neutral strip itself is the stony, trickling bed of a 
stream, which has, apparently, seen better days. It 
was once a river ; but now, having forgotten its 
original mission in life, it is a wide, indefinitely 
rambling ditch. Upon its far side we were called to 
a halt by a knot of funny little toy soldiers in blue 
Zouave trousers and string sandals. A few carried 
rifles, two wore coats, all were smoking cigarettes, 
and they came trotting after our little caravan because, 
it seemed, their keen watchfulness had detected my 
rifle where it swung across SelaanVs broad shoulders. 


I gathered tKat these excitable little men were convinced 
that we had endeavoured to elude their vigilance in 
the matter of this rifle. Now, with stern dignity, 
with military peremptoriness, they demanded that the 
gun be handed over to their keeping. I take some 
pride in being a law-abiding person, but I plead guilty 
to having shown some resentment when these little 
men awkwardly jerked my Lee-Metford from its case, 
pronounced it a Mauser, and managed between them 
to jam its breech while endeavouring to unload it. I 
begged a receipt of some sort, a voucher by which I 
might reclaim my property. This involved a long 
and exciting debate, during the progress of which 
crowd gathered. Again and again different aspect 
of my sufficiently moderate request were submitted t< 
the eager crowd, collectively and individually, by th< 
voluble little military gentlemen in sandals. I foun< 
these Spaniards vastly more difficult to deal with th; 
the Moors. But, at long last, it seemed my affair was 
favourably settled. An old, old veteran in dungaree! 
hobbled up from his seat beside a wash-tub, tore a 
tiny fragment of paper from the edge of some journal, 
pencilled laboriously upon it the legend : " No. 97 " 
(I have often wondered what chance may have 
directed his choice of this number), and handed it to 
the chief among the sandalled gentry, with a gesture 
that was at once pacific, soothing and commandingly 
impressive. It seemed a treaty of peace had been con- 
cluded. The smeary scrap of paper was handed over 
to me, with a bow, and, dissembling alike my inclination 
to grin and my anxiety regarding the welfare of the 
rifle, I turned and we trotted on toward Ceuta. 

" But that he's bad thing, sir," muttered Selaam, 
behind me. " I no like him. We don't finish yet. I 


think I glad a little when we get away from that 
Ceuta ! " 

Selaam voiced my own sentiments exactly in his 
own picturesque way, and strengthened them. Our 
entry was not auspicious. 

You will remember that circumstances led to my 
passing last night, with Selaam and eight other good 
Muslims, fishermen, pirates, robbers and what not, in 
one tiny hut, the property of our host the charcoal- 
burner. Now a night spent in that manner one's 
shoulders between saddle-flaps, one's thoughts running 
hungrily upon the menus of meals enjoyed in the past, 
one's animal instincts insisting that plain bread and 
cheese, if only obtainable, were excellent fare is not 
at all calculated to lend ordinary neatness, far less mili- 
tary precision and dignity, to one's appearance next 
morning. Yet as I rode past a knot of Spanish 
urchins toward the outer gate of Ceuta, Spain's 
famous possession in Morocco, and Gibraltar's vis-a- 
vis in the maritime entrance to the East, the cry 
which greeted me was, 

" Duller! Duller! Yah ingles! Los podrido 
ingleses! (the rotten English!). Duller! Duller! Yah!" 

The gallant first commander-in-chief of our forces 
in South Africa had scarcely been flattered, I fear, to 
hear so travel-stained and towzelled a wanderer as 
myself addressed by his name. My own feeling in 
the matter is of no importance ; it partook less of 
gratification than of embarrassment. 

The very officials who, to examine my pack-mule 
for contraband and to ask for my passport, stopped 
me beside the town moat, were grinning broadly as 
they listened to our salutations from the street urchins. 


These same military officials, by the way, were 
cloaked, armed, booted and spurred (not sandalled), 
and struck me as being altogether more imposing than 
their comrades who had taken away my gun at the 
guard-house on the frontier. So I ventured to solicit 
their good graces in the matter of that gun, said 1 had 
no receipt for it, and showed them the dingy scrap of 
newspaper with " No. 97 " scrawled upon it, which 
was all the voucher I had been able to obtain. These 
gentlemen shook their heads very dubiously, I thought, 
as they bade me preserve with great care my " No. 
97 " scrap. A poor thing to preserve indeed, but I 
stowed it carefully away in my watch, and hoped foi 
the best. 

Through the courtesy of the British Minister ii 
Tangier I had obtained an official Spanish document 
commending me to the Commandant - General ol 
Ceuta as a harmless person afflicted with an inan< 
and purposeless desire to view Ceuta. This docu- 
ment, and this alone, carried me across the great 
moat, over the drawbridge, and within the walls of 
Spain's fortified possession. Without it I had 
assuredly been turned back, to be devoured by the 
ridicule of the young gentlemen who flung at me 
the distinguished name of Duller. This is certain, 
and I mention it for the benefit of any reader who 
may contemplate making the journey from Tangier. 

The landward walls that guard Ceuta are pro- 
digious, well calculated to impress Moors, and perhaps 
the most solid thing in the way of fortification that 
the place has to show. Riding past them and into 
the clean, roughly-cobbled main street of the town, 
fresh from the mountains and gorges of a country in 
which everything contrived by man's hand is of the 


crudest and most meagre sort, I found Ceuta and its 
buildings picturesque for the most part, very clean- 
looking, trimly kept, and quite the abode of civilisa- 
tion ; civilisation that is, of course, as it is understanded 
and exhibited in the southern half of the Peninsula. 

We rode direct to the fonda or hotel ; Selaam, 
myself, our mounts, and the pack-mule. Had you 
fancied that, because Ceuta is a penal settlement, and 
possessed of only a certain order of civilisation, that it 
therefore contained no hotel. That was your misap- 
prehension. Ceuta boasts the possession of a very 
distinguished hotel. It is distinguished, inasmuch as 
that a good few years of wandering and a fairly 
catholic experience of hostelries in the East, in 
Australia, in South America, and other places 
remote from Bond Street, have not as yet introduced 
me to a place of entertainment more thoroughly and 
consistently unsatisfactory than is Ceuta's hotel. 
True, there was a certain charcoal-burner's hut in 
which I found shelter once, and But no ! Let me 
be just to that gaunt maker of charcoal. Personally, 
I preferred his hut to this fonda. 

I was shown into an apartment without a window 
or any kind of ventilation, the which I was invited to 
share as sleeping and sitting-room with two Spaniards. 
These two gentlemen, whose acquaintance I was not 
privileged to make, were doubtless excellent, and, it 
may be, illustrious Sefiors. Their beds suggested an 
entire aloofness from that virtue which cometh next 
to godliness. Their godliness may itself have been 
all sufficient for them. As for me, while I pondered 
sadly over these trestle beds and I am not squeamish 
Selaam, who considers me his protector and is mine, 
gave me clearly to understand that he could not 


permit me to make use of this gloomy and unsavoury 
place. That is the beauty of Selaam ; he is so 
thoroughly the paternal despot, the beneficent tyrant, 
the kindly Providence. Like a child, I yielded to him 
blindly ; like a grown-up, I was truly grateful for his 

Within the hour my autocrat had me installed in 
a small but eminently decent and cleanly apartment 
in the private house of a resident of respectable stand- 
ing. I make no doubt that the good rascal repre- 
sented that I was intimately connected with most of 
the crowned heads of Europe. I was made quite 
comfortable in my new quarters ; as comfortable, that 
is, as might be under the circumstances. Th< 
immediately preceding twenty-four hours of trav< 
had rather told upon me in one or two smal 
ways, and, curiously, upon Selaam. I questioned th< 
Moor, and found our symptoms were identical. 
Certain kinds of food, devoured with Open Road 
gusto, and certain prolonged fastings ; these had 
combined to somewhat disturb our internal economy. 
And that brings me, haunch-down, upon a little 
episode which somehow made me think chucklingly 
of Rabelais. 

Toward evening we wended our way, Selaam and 
myself, to a certain pharmacy in Ceuta's main street. 
We were the rather jeeringly observed of all street 
observers, and were frequently reminded of my 
nationality and of the names of various distinguished 
British generals commanding in South Africa. Oddly 
enough these reminders were not at all intended to be 
flattering. My walks abroad in hospitable Ceuta 
gave me a sympathetic insight into what I imagine 
must be the feelings of a pious Oriental when he 


strolls through London attired in his Oriental best, 
and accompanied by mocking urchins. We went, I 
say, to a pharmacy, and by the aid of smatterings 
of various tongues (I had next to no Spanish) 
established an understanding with the worthy pro- 
prietor. He informed me gracefully that we both 
stood in urgent need of a certain excellent and 
thorough purgativo which he recommended. In 
all good faith I gave the word, and doses were 
administered to us on the spot. 

In one hour and a half, or two hours, "all would 
be most well " with us, I was assured. Three hours 
ater we held a consultation. Our symptoms were 
still identical, Selaam's and mine, our good chemist's 
prescription had failed, and our condition was in no 
way improved. Together we set out once more for 
the pharmacy. Now, whether our countenances 
betrayed us, or native shrewdness guessed our errand, 
I cannot say, but a group of young women, standing 
near the chemist's, broke out into gusts of shrill 
laughter upon our approach, comments containing the 
word purgativo fell round us in a soprano hail, 
mantilla ends were thrust into shrieking mouths, the 
news was carried breathlessly from door to door, 
and this last shot, fired at my bowed, diminished 
head by a young lady in yellow and black, scorched 
the very nape of my neck as we won to the cover of 
our pharmacy. 

" Purgatives for good Spaniards are wasted on 
English leather-bellies ; try some Transvaal gun- 
powder from Kruger ! " 

In cold print, one may smile at it. In the event 
I found that corner of Ceuta too warm for my Anglo- 
Saxon skin. We returned to our quarters with some- 


thing more than precipitancy, and by way of a side 
street. Incidentally it occurs to me, with less of regret 
than relief, that I forgot to pay for those inefficacious 
purgatives. But was not the episode Rabelaisian, 
and of the Latins, Southern ? You are to remember 
that capote-clad sentries paced under orange and 
citron trees in the little square beside which those 
laughing muchachas roasted the forlorn Englishman 
and his Moor. They wore flowered mantillas, and 
heels to their shoes that clacked liked castanets. 

You know what a great service Cervantes 
rendered Spain. Who knows what the future may 
yet hold in store for her, and if only anothe 
Cervantes should arise, to tickle her while he taught 

Now, with regard to Ceuta. But, incidentall; 
and as a warning against what is called candour in 
friend, and uncharitableness in an enemy, I must quote 
here a remark made by the good lady whose house 
sheltered me. I sought to win her good graces by 
praising what I supposed to be her native town. My 
imagination failed me, however ; for a moment I could 
think of nothing to praise. Recollection of a fact 
came then, where invention failed. " Your streets are 
very clean and nicely kept here," I said. 

" Oh, yes ; and they should be, when labour costs 
nothing. In my country, Malaga, where we have 
no convicts to do those things for us there it is 
different ! " 

Good soul! Her remark struck me as a curious 
blend of local pride, deprecation, regret, uncharitable- 
ness, pessimism and modesty. I think also, by the 
way, that it was substantially true. One meets the 
prisoners, singly and in little gangs, all over Ceuta, 
up till sunset gun-fire. They appear to do everything 


that is done in Ceuta, outside eating, drinking, 
sleeping, swagger, military ceremonial, and such of 
the amenities as may be looked for in a populace 
composed of prisoners and their guardians, soldiers, 
Jand those who supply the needs of both sections. 
IThese convicts wear polo caps, short jackets and little 
metal badges, like those of cabmen, on their sleeves. 
Each small party of them is accompanied by a sort of 
jserang ; a good-conduct man, presumably, who carries 
la tough-looking stick with a thin leathern loop at its 
|end. If your wrist be in the loop and the stick be 
lichen violently twisted, you will be found ready, I am 
assured, to express most complete agreement in any 
[sort of proposition which the holder of the stick may 
nave to make. Some instinct inclines me to belief in 
lis theory. I accepted it freely, upon trust. But, 
egarding the matter from what I imagine would be 
le standpoint of any intelligent and open-minded 
onvict of experience, I think that, putting aside the 
>op-stick contrivance, the Ceuta prisoners are not 
adly off. There are many ways of picking up food 
hen you are given the freedom of the street. All 
e Ceuta prisoners smoke at their work. The 
imate is pleasant enough, and going to bed early is 
o hardship once you have passed the age at which 
is a virtue. No ; if my choice of a place of resi- 
ence were limited strictly to the world's penal 
tations, I am not sure that I should not hit upon 
euta. Granted a slightly wider choice, I fancy I 
lould prefer Bethnal Green or most other places. 
When, in my hearing, Selaam made inquiry 
egarding the purchase of barley for our animals, he 
as told that barley and other kinds of forage were 
ontraband, but that we might be able to buy a little 


at such and such a shop. We visited four shops, 
under a resident's escort, and finally found a man 
possessed of about sufficient barley to make one 
satisfactory meal for our three beasts. He measured 
it out in a vessel no bigger than a breakfast-cup, and 
grudgingly sold it at so much the cup. The price of 
that one meal had kept our animals comfortably in 
Tangier (or in a village outside the Ceuta boundaries) 
for a week. Most things are contraband in Ceuta, 
including visitors. And in view of the first fact, 
the second is perhaps scarcely to be regretted. 
From the commercial standpoint the Government 
could not be called liberal, and industrially 
do not think the place could be called thriving 
though, to be sure, I was told by members of that 
profession that smuggling was fairly brisk in 

Somewhat to my alarm, I discovered, when our 
little caravan was prepared for my departure from 
Ceuta, that leaving the Spanish possession was as 
fraught with difficulty and official ceremony as 
entering it. However, when I had made my salaams 
to a variety of uniformed authorities, and furnished 
them with all such essential information, as the date 
of my birth (my reply on this point failed for quite 
a little while to satisfy one generalissimo, who was 
convinced that I was older or younger than I 
admitted), the marriage question, my business, 
physical peculiarities, residence when at home and 
when not at home, my religious views, my family 
history, and the like ; then, or within an hour or so oi 
then, I was presented with a ticket-of-leave, and, as it 
were, carefully watched off the premises by two 
severe officials, who appeared convinced that they 


were dealing with a criminal of very desperate char- 
acter, and by a small mob of the young gentlemen 
who persisted in addressing me as a general from 
Sfluth Africa. 

At the frontier guard-house they protested entire 
ignorance of anything like a Lee-Metford sporting- 
rifle, and turned up their respective noses at my poor 
little " No. 97 " scrap of paper, the only thing I had 
ith virhich to support my claim to my own gun. I 
ould have wept, if the boys had not been calling 
e " Buller." Selaam began to look dangerous. His 
ht hand was fumbling under his djellab, where, to 
y knowledge, there hung a certain murderous 
agger. I was reminded uncomfortably of a little 
ity-gate difficulty of mine some time ago, in which 
elaam had come near to butchering a whole board 
f guardians when they were rude to me. I cast 
bout me for a- means of compromise, and found 
stead, as chance directed, the hoary old dotard by 
hose intervention I had secured the "No. 97" 
crap. Selaam roused the patriarch for me, where he 
y asleep under his boat, and for a minute his 
eumy eyes had the blindness, or the impudence, to 
eny recognition of me. I was fumbling for back- 
eesh, when sudden shame descended upon the 
uard ; a member of it stalked into their quarters, 
turned with my gun, handed it me without a word, 
d presented me with a full view of his narrow- 
ouldered back. 

Selaam murmured in his native tongue a soft 
mark upon the subjects of pigs, graves, and the 
|icestry of the Spanish army. Then we rode away 
oss the neutral strip of shrivelled-up river-bed 
to Moorish territory. 


" You little glad, sir ? " he said as we took to the 

" What about, Selaam ? " 

*' We leave Ceuta, sir." 

"Well, yes; I think I am, a little. Morocco, 
he's better, eh ? " 

" Ih yeh! sir!" He has a way of putting 
volumes into a word occasionally, has this Moor. 

And now with regard to Ceuta, the town, our 
Gibraltar's vis-a-vis. But I fancy the guide-books 
contain very adequate and useful information about 
Ceuta. It is not a bad prison, as prisons go. As a 
fortified station, too, it has indubitably great natural 
strategical and geographical advantages. Also, in 
the hands of a great and wealthy power, able to 
spend, say, from five to ten millions for a beginning 
upon fortifying it, Ceuta would be something of a 
menace to British power in the Mediterranean. At 
present its guns, or those of them that can be seen, 
are suggestive of Moorish armaments. At present it 
is not in the hands of such a power as I have 
mentioned, and, rumour to the contrary notwith- 
standing, I cannot think it ever will be, while the 
pride of the Spanish people remains a factor to be 
reckoned with by the rulers of Spain. And that 
will remain a factor, I think, for so long as the 
Spanish people remain a nation. Should the 

But it certainly will not materially change before 
I get through with this my return journey from 
Ceuta to Tangier ; and then I may find opportunity 
to post you further in the matter. 


' A 1[ THO can say ? Only that which is written can 
VV be. But, between the S6k and the big 

mosque, I met three French poodles this morning, 
and each one freshly and modishly shaved 
bardieu / " 

I had but that moment landed from the little 
inglish steamer, and, to my surprise, had been 
greeted in Tangier's barbaric custom-house by a 
ournalist of some repute in Europe, a kindly 
Cosmopolitan whom I had last seen, a year before, in 
he Plaza de Fernandos, Seville. His remark about 
Drench poodles was proffered by way of reply to my 
[uestion : " Well, and how goes the political game of 
?rab in Morocco?" I smiled. 

"And what," I asked, "is the Moorish view of 
his fashion in dogs ? " My friend shrugged his 
slegantly-clad shoulders with Oriental exaggeration. 

" Simply, my friend, that all things, the good, the 
aad and the indifferent, are from Allah el Wahad 
God the One), and cannot be otherwise. 'The 
Moving Finger' and 'nor all the tears.' But, 
3'ism Illah, you should know the attitude ! " 

My cosmopolitan friend, in his bright way, 
issumed too much. No Westerner may truly know 
he attitude. Yet if they have not been lived wholly 
n vain, the last few years have brought to me some 

1 Published in the Fortnightly Review, July 1901. 


inkling of it, by the will of Allah and the mouths of 
Moors. And I am bound to admit that the inkling is 
not exhilarating to a lover of Morocco. 

Leaving my journalistic friend then, and followed 
by mine own particular rascal among Moors, I wended 
my way over the familiar cobbles of the main street, 
past the great mosque, and so by the inner Sok to 
the abode of my trusted friend and counsellor, Hadj 
Mohammed Mokdin the f'keeh, ex-kadi, past 
master of Al Koran and its commentaries, and 
courtly, learned student in the book of Moorish life 
and affairs. Here disappointment stepped out to 
greet me, in the person of Hadj Cassim, the third son 
of my old counsellor. His father, though advised of 
my coming, had been obliged to leave Tangier four 
days since, for the coast and Marrakish. It was an 
order. There was no gainsaying his Lord the 
Sultan's message. The old scholar was needed at 
Court, and so for the time was lost to me. 

" But the Hadj, my father, will send thee written 
word from the Court of Allah's anointed, giving thee 
all news thereof. For that reason a swift courier 
went with him. Also, here be written pages for thy 
hand, the which held my father to his cushions for 
many hours upon the eve of his going hence." 

Now, it was known to Hadj Cassim that I lacked 
altogether understanding of the written word in 
Arabic, and so it presently fell out, when glasses of 
steaming, syrupy green tea had been served to us in 
the little patio, that the young man himself read for 
my edification the letter written by his father. Here 
then is my topical learning for your use, as I gleaned 
it in the mint-scented little patio of Hadj Mokdin's 
Tangier house, where one of the most scholarly and 


intelligent of Moors lives poorly, for the reason that 
he grinds no mercenary axe, and pursues ever 
knowledge rather than pelf or place. 

" To that Nazarene who is separated from the 
writer rather by race than in the spirit, by blood than 
in thought, and whose honourable name is inscribed 
hereover : greeting, salutation, and devout good 
wishes from Hadj Mohammed Mokdin, by Allah's 
mercy, student of His book and His works, in this 
curious Tangier of the borderland, where belief 
toucheth unbelief, and much trafficking maketh 
neither for wisdom nor cleanliness. B'ism Illah ! 

" My son will have told thee of my absence and 
its cause. Being what I am, I grieve not for that 
which was written, yet heartily do I trust that it may 
prove Allah's will that I may look upon thy face, in 
the calm, thinking hours of evening, after my return, 
in sha' Allah, to Tangier. And now to give thee of 
the little that my mind hath of judgment, where the 
affairs of our Sunset Land are concerned. 

"To the mouse we may assume that no other 
matter hath so great an import as the movements of the 
cat. In the matter of the French encroachments in 
the south-east, I have to tell thee that, in my opinion, 
France is actually rather farther from (though 
apparently nearer) her desire than at the period of 
your parting from me here last year. It is true that, 
acting from that base she stole last year, Igli ; France 
has occupied 6000 men in the oases this winter, and 
finished her winter's work by surrounding, but not 
occupying, Figuig. But this in truth is no more than 
a part of her admitted seizure of Igli. Figuig, though 
farther south, is no farther within our Lord's 


boundaries, and indeed is less clearly a portion of his 
realm. We of the Faith saw clearly last year 
that the seizure of Igli was but the marking of a 
fandak and halting-place on the road to Figuig, the 
which is now ripe fruit for French gathering. 1 

"That is no great matter. There, on the border- 
line, where French protection hath long been a thing 
of common barter, and her influence necessarily 
strong, so much was to be expected. But far more 
was to be expected during this last winter. France's 
6000 soldiers were there established ; before them the 
great Tafilet oases, cradle of the reigning dynasty 
elevated by Allah. Much was expected, I say, am 
with reason. And there has happened nothing, nv 
friend. And if you ask me how and why, I woul< 
say that now France is turning the first page in hei 
real learning of the difficulties which do beset hei 
path across this our Morocco. I would speak withoul 
malice, but with sorrow. The soldiers of France hav< 
suffered bitterly in a land they were not born t< 
master by sheer force of arms. ' Remember oui 
Lord Kitchener and the Dervishes,' you would say. 
My friend, there be many and great differences, 
beginning with Figuig's remoteness from such a high- 
way as the Nile, and including this fact, not as yet 
known to Europe. The Moors of the desert shoot 
sitting or lying down, are past masters in ambush, 
cover-taking, and the arts of harassing night attacks, 
in country every stone of which is known to their 
very horses, and unknown to the Christian. Your 
Lord Kitchener could never mow them down with 
his machine guns, for to be mown a crop must stand 

1 The "ripe fruit" was "gathered," as newspaper readers are 
aware, a few months ago. A. J. D. 1903. 


and be visible. Further, my friend, it is (more largely 
than ye of the North believe) the cause which decides 
the fight. In Egypt, the Mahdi was his own cause, 
placing himself before Islam. He invited the 
Khedive and the Sultan of Turkey to acknowledge 
him. He fought not for Allah the One and his 
Prophet, but for the Mahdi. That was his loss and 
the loss of his followers. For in Islam there is but 
one banner which can so rally Believers that victory 
becomes theirs ; and that is the green banner of 
Islam itself. Khedive and Sultan both instructed 
Egypt that the Mahdi was a kharig, or pervert, an 
infidel, warring upon Islam. So Egypt fought him 
with your Lord Kitchener and his soldiers, and great 
was the fall of the Mahdi. But how if he had raised 
only the banner of Islam, fighting only to repel the 
infidel, a Jehad, and had fought always from cover, 
and never with his legions as standing crops for the 
scythes of your machinery. Think you, Muslim, 
Egypt had fought then under your Lord Kitchener 
and against Islam? Never! never! They had 
fought assuredly, and with your guns ; but pointed 
the other way, my friend. And what then of France's 
Algerian legions ? Believe thou me, France has been 
asking herself that question. 

" * But France holds Algeria/ you say. My friend, 
you see there the work, not of a winter, but of over 
fifty years. And here is a point for thee in that 
matter, the which Europe knoweth not. Thou 
knowest that my friend, Wold Ayadda, the Adra 
Sheikh, receives some $500 a month tribute from 
France, that he may maintain peace in his part of 
the territory called Algerian. There be others like 
him, a few. Now among all the common people in 


Algeria, and all save the learned and high officials in 
Morocco, the belief is firmly fixed that this is the basis 
of France's occupation of Algeria. You cannot shake 
that conviction. ' The land is ours, by Allah's mercy, 
and belongs not at all to France ; as witness these 
things, our chiefs are paid in great sums of tribute for 
permitting the French to reside and trade here.' 
Thou seest the position. The facts are what thou 
wilt. I tell thee of the people's fixed belief, for and 
by which they will fight. Hold thou that in thy 
mind while I tell thee why France hath not seized 
Figuig this winter by force of arms, though, for the 
success of her plans, Figuig must presently become a 
station (terminus for the time) of her Ain Sefra 
railroad, the which, through Igli, is to drain the 
commerce of the desert and so starve our already 
hungering Morocco. 1 

"Thou knowest Hadj Ali Aboutali, of the clacking 
tongue. That tongue of his has made the French 
cold to him at last. Too many have learned of the 
blood-money earned four years back by Hadj Ali, 
when he visited the Figuig oases by authority of 
France. France was troubled by the power of the 
great Figuig Shareef. Hadj Ali bore papers to him. 
Hadj Ali ate his bread as friend during two moons of 
rest and talk, there in Figuig. On the last evening, 
Hadj Ali mixed the tea. In the morning the Shareef 
sickened and died, warning his people of the cause 
thereof. The tea dregs, tested, proved the truth. 
Hadj Ali was hotly pursued, but he had started, not 
that day, but over-night, and upon picked horses, 
galloping for dear life, to to collect his pay here in 

1 Hadj Mokdin's prophecies of two years ago are the accomplished 
facts of to-day. A, J. D. Jan. 1904. 


Tangier. Thou knowest he received his payment, 
and the Shareef troubled the infidels no more. 

" Now, five days ago a cousin of Hadj Ali's arrived 
here from Figuig, and, over the good green tea, told 
me of this winter's happenings there. Briefly, this 
is the way of it. General Risbourg reached the 
neighbourhood of Figuig, a gallant soldier sick at 
heart and wearied to exhaustion by his advance 
through a country in which the wells upon his line 
of march were choked by retreating tribesmen who 
killed his animals by night and harassed him by day 
with many well-aimed bullets from invisible sources : 
the whole in a climate which, even then, was a great 
affliction to white men from the North. The general 
decided to try amicable treaty with the Sheikhs of 
Figuig. Now, at that very time, the two great 
Filali Sheikhs were closeted together with an official 
messenger from their Lord and ours at Marrakish. 
The Sultan's word was : ' Peace ! War not yet upon 
the Christian dogs, for that were to disturb other 
affairs which I, thy Lord, have in hand. Fear not. 
The Lord of all Filalis hath his people in mind and 
in safe keeping. Yet, for the moment it doth not suit 
thy Lord to show open hostility.' 

" It was an order. The Sheikhs were content ; their 
faith in their Lord strengthened. l Our Lord will 
come presently, with his armies/ they said. * Mean- 
while a smile for the infidels ; bared teeth, and open 
hands.' Said another Sheikh : ' Yes ; bared teeth, 
and open hands. It is as well that the Christians should 
pay while we smile, B'ism Illah!' And, while they 
talked together, General Risbourg's messengers 
approached. Now the Figuig Sheikhs wax fat and 
lazy, and the ornaments of their dancing girls come 


out of Algeria, paid for in French money. And 
France feels that the summer withdrawal of troops 
may be faced with complaisance. B'ism Illah ! Those 
who till the earth in France must needs pay for 
French vanity. It was written. And the tribesmen 
smile, for they have heard that, from the Gharb to 
the Atlas word hath gone forth among the Kaids to 
collect the Harka tax and proceed with their men to 
er- Rabat, there to await our Lord the Sultan's coming 
from Marrakish, on his way to the northern Court of 
Fez, whence, say the Tuat folk, he "will assuredly 
descend in his might upon the oases, to sweep back 
the struggling tide of infidels from Algeria. 1 They d 
not know, as I know, that the same orders have bee 
issued three times in the last thirteen moons, whils 
our Lord still bides at Marrakish. Above all, they 
know nothing of our young Lord, his Court, his new 
Wazeer, or the maze of Sus insurrection and Marrakish 
intrigue. For their sakes, as well as others, I would 
not have the Sheikhs learn of these matters yet awhile, 
for when they do, French money will be powerless to 
stay bloodshed in the Tuat." 

At this stage the letter of my friend Hadj Mokdin 
branched off into a vein more personal and less 
calculated, as I see it, to interest the general reader. 
Therefore I suppress the remainder of the good man's 
epistle and proceed forthwith to the dispatch under his 
seal, and of a later date, which has since reached me 
from the Court at Marrakish, where Hadj Mokdin now 
awaits the pleasure of his Lord and Allah's chosen 

1 Those who had the Sultan's ear affirm that this actually was 
his programme until the Pretender, and the state of Moorish feeling 
he represented, intervened. A. J. D. 1904. 


Abd el Aziz IV., the youthful head of this crumbling 
realm. Hadj Mokdin's views, as given here, are not 
European. Yet they are vastly nearer to the best- 
informed European point of view than is the typical 
Moorish outlook, by token that Hadj Mokdin is one of 
an ever-decreasing minority in this naturally blessed 
land of human poverty and natural decadence ; he is a 
broad-minded, observant and intelligent man of letters, 
void of the fanatic taint and mentally virile. It were 
hard to exaggerate in pointing out the sad and extreme 
rarity among ktter-day Moors of minds like Hadj 
Mokdin's. Among European students of this people 
there are to be found some optimistic enough to affirm 
that if in the person of any one Moor there could be 
found Hadj Mokdin's intellectual gifts, allied to in- 
dividual ambition and the leader's instinct, hope 
might reasonably be entertained of the building 
up, from the present invertebrate ruin called Morocco, 
a new and living empire worthy of the powerful 
Moorish tradition. It is certain that even modern 
Moors will do much at the bidding of a genuine live 
leader, having their own blood in his veins ; and that 
at present the listless body of the people altogether 
lacks a head. But, granting to them much offensive 
and defensive potential vigour under inspired leader- 
ship, the open-minded student of this people must 
needs admit regretful dubiety if called upon to forecast 
their capabilities in the direction of peaceful self- 
administration. Cl Given the right leader," says a 
Syrian friend of mine, who has handled human raw 
material in the desert, and knows his Arab as clubmen 
know Pall Mall, " the Moors might go anywhere ; ay, 
even into the citadels of Spain again, by virtue of 
guns, horses, and the banner of Islam. But, once 


there, they would fall to sleeping, singing and tea- 
drinking, till their prize was drawn from them again." 
Truly the arts of peace form the one, the essential 
foundation upon which the fabric of a modern nation 
must rest ; they form the binding mortar lacking 
which the winds of modern civilisation will inevitably 
set the bravest structure a-crumbling into decay. 

I pass over the somewhat unusually drawn-out 
preliminaries of Hadj Mokdin's letter from the royal 
city of Marrakish. The essence of it runs in thus 
wise : 

" Here at the Court of our Lord is very much that 
grieveth me, and nought as yet that brings light to 
my heart. That our Lord hath apparently forgotten 
having sent for Hadj Mokdin is as nothing a date- 
stone. That Allah's chosen and those about him 
should forget the land of the Moors, its history and its 
present place upon the edge of disaster ; these be 
matters which grieve me more than any word of mine 
may tell. It is without doubt written, and the Will, 
yet B'fsm Illah ! I know something of the mass of my 
countrymen, and in my heart's heart I am made sick. 

"You know, my friend, that Moulai Hassan, the 
late Sultan, now occupying a high place in Paradise, 
was a strong man. Ah, how prettily he held the 
strings of Morocco's main defences, the which, as you 
know, are the international jealousies of Europe ! And 
more, he was a strong man in the administration of 
this land; too wise to fancy he might rule by 
European methods, and, withal, wise and strong 
enough to glean what benefit he might from the 
wisdom of others, and to apply the same with a 
velvet-covered hand of very steel. Scarcely less 


strong was Ba Ahmed, the chosen right arm of the 
Sultan. So strong and so resourceful, this great 
Wazeer, that when his Master died, while journeying, 
Ba Ahmed kept the secret, bearing his Lord's corpse 
n a litter, and ordering meals for the dead Sultan, 
through many days, till the safety of city walls was 
ttained, the Court settled, and all things prepared for 
the proclamation of young Abd el Aziz's accession. 
A great Wazeer, for Morocco, was Ba Ahmed. And, 
up till the day of his death last year, he ruled Morocco, 
and the young Sultan, his Lord, cruelly you Europeans 
would say, strongly, and as Moors must be ruled for 
cohesion's sake, say we who know, and as his dead 
rord had ruled. And then Ba Ahmed died, as was 
written. Waili ! An ill day for Al Moghreb. 

4 'Then came the true accession of our young Lord 
Abd el Aziz IV., whom may Allah fortify as He hath 
:hosen. Then stepped out from behind the Throne a 
Dower hitherto silent, unseen of men : Lalla R'kia, 
he Circassian mother of our Lord ; subtle, disturbing, 
>ur Lord's reminder of the blood in his veins that is 
>ther than Moorish. To-day, by Allah and His 
'rophet, a man may weep to see the weekly, daily 
warring in our Lord of the two streams ; the heights 
twixt which, falling, he lieth prone, missing the good 
n both. Our Lord, then, being thus and not other- 
wise, one wastes no time in idle meditation upon what 
he future may hold in its hand. That which is 
written, Allah in his wisdom permitteth no man to 
enow until the event discloses it. Turn we, who 
hink, to the companions of our Lord's right hand, the 
human flies that hover about the Presence. Our 
Lord is such that these, under Allah, have the shaping 
f the future for him. 


" Now there is Corony Maclean (Colonel Maclean, 
C.M.G., or, as he is more generally called, Kaid 
Maclean, the British instructor of the Sultan's troops, 
and unofficial political resident at Marrakish), he is a 
countryman of thine, and I am the more glad to say 
that, to my knowledge, he has worked no ill but rather, 
it may be, some good at Court. I deal not in idle 
compliments. I do not say the Corony is a great 
patriot, still less a saviour of Morocco. But an 
honourable man is a good influence, and I be- 
lieve that Corony Maclean has not served his 
own interests in Marrakish other than honourably. 
What shall I say of the Frenchman and the French 
protected Jew, the commercial agents at the Court ? 
This I will say, that they have achieved so much, that 
here in Marrakish, true Believers must withdraw to 
the privacy of their own apartments to curse these two. 
They and their influence may not, without dire risk, 
be openly reviled. .And the most of Moors are moved 
in their hearts to revile these men. Nay, through 
them, we draw near the stage at which our Lord 
himself must and will be reviled and held cheaply in 
his subjects' eyes. 1 

" My friend, they play upon the weakest strain in 
one of the streams from our Lord's heart which fill his 
body. They have drawn him from the honest attempt 
to grapple with affairs of state (affairs crying aloud to 
be handled firmly), to trifle with their accursed 
mechanical toys. From these to Paris gauds, nameless 
things, to us unclean. At least, they be things the 
which Kaid Maclean would not procure. From these 
to an imported French circus, a troupe of French girls ; 

1 The absolute truth of this prophecy has been pitifully established 
at Fez. A. J. D. 1904. 


dancers they are called. Allah protect us ! Upon 
their neglected graves whelps of the Sok will without 
doubt be encouraged to gambol. Unveiled tempta- 
tions, fatherless, a call to outer darkness. 

" Read this thinkingly, with your understanding 
eyes, friend, for somewhat ye know of our land, its 
people, and ye will accordingly grieve with me. 
Many days before I reached the Court, some folk 
came here (a long journey, as thou knowest) to 
petition our Lord in the matter of a certain water 
supply, the which they were like to lose to Christians ; 
a long story. Our Lord sent them sheep, candles 
and tea, with word that he would presently see them. 
Turned he again then to the Paris toys. Weeks 
passed. Two days ago I was admitted to the palace 
grounds, with the headman of this deputation. Our 
Lord, busy with Paris toys, spoke impatiently to those 
Nazarenes about him. Theirs was the framing of 
the message sent to the deputation. That night I 
read the letter sent by the deputation to the tribe in 
Anjorra, whose cause they served. * Be not impatient,' 
it said, * our Lord has treated us with great favour, as 
witness the enclosed sealed paper from his Eyebrow 
(Chamberlain) which tells that our Lord's soldiers, 
having fought and defeated the French with great 
slaughter, in the South, have sent to our Lord much 
treasure and 300 French ladies. For the time 
our Lord is accordingly much occupied. Be not 
impatient.' 1 

" Would ye hear, my friend, how and why the 
change in the Wazeerate which placed Kaid Mennebhi 

1 This is no fictive decoration. The precious document was 
examined by a well-known English gentleman in Tangier, State 
Secretary's seals, royal stamp, and all. A. J. D. 



at the head of affairs came about ? The ex-Grand 
Wazeer happened inopportunely into the Presence 
when our Lord was being started upon a bicycle by 
one of the infidels. To him, true Muslim and a Moor 
of the Moors, the sight was revolting, indecent. 
Thinking of the inevitable effect of such things in 
sapping our Lord's authority, he ventured upon re- 
monstrance. What followed thou knowest. A mission, 
a journey, swift-riding followers from the palace, 
heavy chains and a seat upon a mule's back ; and now 
the ex- Wazeer lies rotting in prison. 

"And of what like is his successor? Friend, he 
hath greater strength, somewhat greater cunning, full 
measure, and of honesty no little grain beyond that 
brazen sort which permits of his self-seeking and dis- 
honesty being shown to Marrakish, with never a 
shred of disguise. He has shown me what Morocco 
has never seen before : the public sale by public 
auction of Kaids' and Bashas' posts to the highest 
bidder, followed by the selling of that highest bidder 
(in three cases) within twelve days, himself into prison, 
his new-bought post to one who paid a yet higher 
price. Never before has that been done openly. 

" To sum all up, my friend, I grieve because I find 
the affairs of my native land in parlous order, demand- 
ing, as never before in the history of Morocco, the 
guidance of a strong, clear mind, a veritable Sultan. 
That my country's affairs most urgently need. They 
have a governing power composed of half-a-dozen 
corrupt creatures of a corrupt, short-sighted, cruel, 
and desperately greedy Wazeer, whose rightful Lord 
is occupied exclusively in Bah ! We have spoken 
of those whose graves will be defiled, and of the 
trumpery gauds from Paris bazaars. And this, while 


the turbulent Sus is aflame, the far south-east a vol- 
cano, a mine charged by French aggression, waiting 
only the match of knowledge of our Lord's indiffer- 
ence ; the country betwixt Tafilet and Fas is openly 
given over to brigandage and anarchy ; and even El 
Ksar, Arzila and the Gharb, Tangier's outskirts, are 
full of unrest and disorder, crimes and indifference to 
crimes. 1 

"And over and through it all, my friend, I catch 
the glint of the hungry, determined eyes of the Power 
that holds Algeria, falling across my Moghreb's deadly 
weaknesses, even as the piercing brilliance of the 
search-lights on that nation's ships of war have swept 
across the crumbling gaps in Tangier's walls, while I 
sat on mine own roof, reflecting upon the sorry end 
which would seem to have been written as the destiny 
of the Moorish Empire. That grieves me, oh, assur- 
edly it grieves me, my friend. But would you know 
what thing it is that trickleth like slow, still poison 
into my heart, deadening the life there, and preparing 
me to face my written end with not with gladness 
with tired sorrow, yet as one approaching release ? 
It is this conviction : that my beloved land is ripe 
fruit, near, terribly near to one infidel nation's grip, 
not so much by reason of England's curious aloofness, 
e not entirely because of the strength-sapping influences 
i, at work upon our young Sultan, not at all because we 
ijllack machine guns, but because, by Allah the One 
inland his Holy Prophet, our race is run, my friend, and 
jJwe that be Moors are falling, falling beside the way of 
man's journey across this world. B'ism Illah !" 

[he I l Reference even to the telegraphic news in European journals 
uring the month of May will amply justify these statements. 



The end of Hadj Mokdin's letter is personal, and 
I have little heart to transcribe more of it. All that I 
have given here is truly his, and that without embel- 
lishment. His name I have altered. That I owe to 
him. The rest is as he wrote it, and given here for 
the reason that, at this stage of its decline, the views 
of a thinking Moor upon the situation of his country 
should deserve consideration. 


MOROCCO is no wanton lover, careless or free 
with her favours ; but rather a somewhat 
sphinx-like mistress, with eyes voluptuously half- 
closed, and a personality that reveals her charms 
gradually, obscurely, and, to the uninitiate, quite 
sparingly. Here is no glittering Casino, or incon- 
tinently-smiling Plage. " Admire me, court me if you 
will," murmurs the Afternoon Land; "or leave me 
and go hence no wiser than you came. You will in 
any case do the thing which is written, and that only. 
One thing is not written, and shall not be : you cannot 
disturb me ; for I am Al Moghreb of the Believers ; 
upon my left breast lies the Garden of the Hesperides ; 
my garland is of the lotus flower ; as Carthaginian 
Hanno found me five centuries before the coming of 
the Nazarene Mahdi, or ever Moulai Idrees raised 
upon my shoulder the green flag of Islam, so am I to- 
day and shall be to-morrow. B'ism Illah ! " 

So one might imagine the essential spirit of Mor- 
occo addressing that remote antithesis which the maps 
assure us is its near neighbour : the spirit of Europe. 
So the mass of Moors may be said to feel and think. 
The error is scarcely less grotesque, and not at all 
less pathetic, than is many another feature of this 

1 Published in the Fortnightly Review^ February 1903. 


absolutely old-world and barbaric country, from whose 
shores one may hear the firing of modern guns in 
very modern Gibraltar, and see the cliffs in the shadow 
of which Britain's greatest admiral met his end. 

During the past thousand years Morocco and the 
Moors have influenced Europe shrewdly. No more 
than one hundred years have passed since London 
merchants, with devout gratitude to the forthright 
Yankees who finally pricked the blood-red bubble of 
the Sallee Rover, ceased paying annual tribute to the 
Moorish Sultan by way of bribe to save their ships 
from pillage and their sailors from being captured as 
slaves for the Court at Marrakish or Fez. Yet it may 
fairly be said that Morocco and the Moors have made 
no more response than has Thibet to any one among 
the influences and events which have moulded modern 
Christendom and the mighty civilisation of the West. 
The stately mosques of bygone Moorish warriors 
(Christendom has nothing to excel them in dignity) 
are now the cathedrals of Christian Spain ; but you 
shall look vainly in Morocco for traces of European 
growth and change, or even for a genuine convert (in 
full possession of his mental faculties) to any European 
faith. Upon the coast you may happen upon some 
few moderns among Moors who have added certain 
European vices to their own sufficiently-comprehen- 
sive list. Modernity and decadence, beyond the 
average acute, are synonymous in Morocco. But this 
scarcely touches the broad fact, which is that in all 
Northern Africa Morocco remains the one corner as 
yet unexploited, uninfluenced, unappropriated by civil- 
isation. Yet, both strategically and physically, it must 
at once be acknowledged of far greater importance in 
the eyes of European nations than any part of South 


Africa ; and this most notably in the regard of any 
great maritime Power of the North. Gibraltar is but 
one of the two pillars of Hercules. 

Regarding its intrinsic value, one can affirm little 
beyond the obvious facts that it is abundantly fertile, 
richly endowed as to climate and coast, hill and river, 
and, that rarest of all things to-day, a virgin land, 
unravaged by the miner, and no more than idly 
coaxed and cozened by the agriculturist. As the 
granary of some overcrowded European country it 
were hard to find the equal of Morocco. Gold, silver, 
antimony, copper, iron, these are among many 
treasures which Sunset Land is known to hold in her 
lap, stores upon which no man has drawn to any 
appreciable extent. 

Turning to the people, the race which occupies 
this still veiled shoulder of the continent that civilisa- 
tion has for the most part made naked, one finds 
traces and to spare of change and movement, but 
never a hint of a step toward Europe or its standards 
of progress. The cave-dwelling Berbers discovered 
in possession and used with consummate generalship 
as soldiers by the men who, fleeing from the Mecca 
of Mohammed's day, founded a Moorish dynasty 
remain to-day the same hardy, rock-scaling, semi- 
savages who resented the Muslim intrusion of a 
thousand years ago. They are precisely the same 
men, living in precisely the same way, and they are 
occupying themselves at this moment as they were 
occupied then ; the same blind, fierce resentment, 
the same dogged, savage insurrection, the same 
methods of making both felt. But with the Moors 
proper, the ruling people of Morocco, matters are far 
otherwise. Young Abd el Aziz, the present Sultan 


prisoner, one had almost written at Fez, is scarcely 
more capable of dealing with the rebellious moun- 
taineers and fanatics of his realm after the crushing, 
masterful manner of his ancestors, than he and his 
subjects are capable of re-taking and occupying the 
capitals of Andalusia. 

And that brings one to what is at once the most 
striking and the most momentous consideration which 
occupies the minds of understanding students of the 
Moorish race and the Moorish Empire their unmis- 
takable and essential decadence. 

Human and animal, political and material, national 
and individual, steady, inexorable, pathetic and un- 
redeemed, the deterioration is writ large and clear, 
and the man who studies may not fail to read and 
admit the grievous thing, however reluctantly. 
Indeed, the most reluctant, the most generously 
partial, are the most assured, the men who have most 
loyally and affectionately served the Moors, are the 
men most clearly convinced of this unhappy truth. 
For they have learned the most. They have learned, 
to name one among examples the proper enumeration 
of which would fill a volume, that the national spirit 
is absolutely and entirely defunct among Moors. It 
has not suffered an eclipse ; it is non-existent. A 
very cursory study of the history of the Moorish 
people, in Spain particularly, will suggest to the 
average mind that the citizen spirit never did exist 
among them. It certainly has not even a traditional 
significance to the modern Moor, whose outlook but 
barely embraces even the co-operation of the village 
community, and is absolutely indifferent to the fate of 
warring tribes separated by a range of hills from his 
own. " When they," the attacking party, "reach my 


town you will see ! " he says ; and listlessly resumes 
his avocation, be it wayside robbery, desultory earth- 
tilling, hunting, begging, or sitting at the receipt of 
extorted tribute, a Saint or a Basha. 

Mentally, morally and physically, the Moor is 
developing along a downward line. Individual 
freedom from the taint of deplorable physical 
disease is exceptional ; from the taint of racial and 
national corruption and decay no Moor is free. 

" One gleam I see, not of hope, but of relief from 
the general murkiness," says an authority of life-long 
experience. "The Moor is as yet, broadly speaking, 
clear of the liquor curse, a fact for which he has to 
thank the real and living faith of Islam. Acting upon 
a body so diseased, alcoholism would mean complete 
disintegration in Morocco." 

Yet another authority, whose intimate knowledge, 
and shoulder-to-shoulder daily experience of Moors 
in that singular and now vanished outpost of civilisa- 
tion, the Cape Juby Trading Station, makes his 
opinions of value, said to the writer of these lines a 
year ago : 

" Yes, they are hopelessly decadent, and have no 
national feeling ; but given a leader, a strong leader, 
Moors could and would achieve wonders under arms. 
For industrial development and the arts of peace I 
won't say. But fighting for a cause, under an 
inspiring leader, with a religious war-cry, the Moors 
would yet go far." 

Ba Hamdra, the Father of the She-Ass and 


pretender to the Shareefian Parasol, is a leader not 
altogether without talent ; that he has proved. Re- 
ligion has entered' into his cause, for he has given 
out, or allowed his following to give out, that he is the 
forerunner of the veritable Mahdi of Islam. He has 
a fine war-cry, rich in traditional inspiration : " Down 
with the Nazarenes, who have twisted your mock 
Sultan round their finger ends, and are creeping in 
upon us with their accursed, devil-sent inventions and 
customs of the infidel ! " 

But, when all is said, the man is never more than 
a symptom of the times. The times, and the main- 
springs of the times ; they are the things. 

Regarded as a Moorish ruler and leader, the late 
Sultan, Moulai Hassan, was a strong man almost, 
perhaps, a great man. The loss of Morocco is that 
apparently she cannot produce his like in the present 
generation. She was richer a few years ago ; and 
that is part of her decadence. Moulai Hassan had a 
companion of his right hand : Ba Ahmed, the Grand 
Wazeer. In them Morocco could boast the posses- 
sion of two strong men ; crude, narrow of vision, even 
brutal and merciless, if judged by European standards, 
yet genuinely strong men. The greater of them died, 
and his subordinate successfully hid the fact until 
preparations were made and the succession of the 
youth, Abd el Aziz, assured. Be it remembered that 
Ba Ahmed, the survivor, was a strong man in his own 
right. Young Abd el Aziz was docile perforce, and 
Ba Ahmed ruled, without pity, with greed, and quite 
unhampered by what Europe calls honour or justice. 
Also, he ruled without weakness, cherishing in safe'ty 
that mysterious condition which is called the status 
quo in Morocco, and thereby conserving to his 


country its first and only line of defence, which is, 
and for long has been, the naturally watchful and 
more than a little jealous rivalry of those European 
nations who wait beside the couch of her mortal 

Rather more than two years ago, when already 
the country was perturbed by news of the French 
advance upon and occupation of Igli, the Moorish 
town which was regarded as the depot and junction 
via which the caravan traffic of the desert filtered 
through Morocco to the coast, at this critical juncture, 
in the thick of conflicting intrigues, poisonings and 
official treachery, Ba Ahmed, the greatly feared, 
greatly hated and rigidly-obeyed Wazeer, died at 
Marrakish, leaving many scheming heirs-presumptive 
to his office, but no single successor to the mantle of 
his authority, the inherent masterfulness of his 

Still, youthful Abd el Aziz IV. stretched forth 
both hands and personally took up the fallen reins of 
government with a great flourish of trumpets and dis- 
play of energy. He would be his own Wazeer, said 
the young Sultan. It seemed the young man rejoiced 
to win clear of his swaddling clothes, the rigid 
tutelage of Ba Ahmed. Reflecting upon the Sultan's 
youth and breeding, men marvelled at the flourish of 
trumpets, and optimistic Europeans, naturally gratified 
by the active good sense with which Abd el Aziz 
checked his Filali tribesmen's turbulent resentment of 
contact with the French in Igli and its oasis, freely 
predicted a new lease of life for the Moorish Empire. 
They credited the new broom with powers which, in 
view of its origin and environment, had been little 
short of miraculous. And they omitted reflection 


regarding the hand which moved the new broom. 
This was a power behind the Parasol, a latent intel- 
ligence, not wholly Moorish, capricious, feminine, 
subtle, unstable, and somewhat vitiated from long 
repression in an unwholesome atmosphere. The late 
Moulai Hassan's Circassian wife, young Abd el Aziz's 
mother, Lalla R'kia, had also found a dangerous 
emancipation in the death of Ba Ahmed. 

These were stirring days that saw the sweeping 
out in the summer of 1900 of that far-off Court among 
the tangled gardens and ruined palaces of Marrakish, 
the residents of which are, in all other senses than 
the geographical, immeasurably farther distant from 
Europe than are the denizens of the remotest mining 
camp in the Antipodes. Corrupt officials (to be frank, 
there are no other kinds in Marrakish), made some- 
what bewildered, much relieved, and feverishly eager 
for plunder, by the departure of the stern master- 
plunderer, whom all had respected as well as envied 
and hated ; timid, servile neophytes in the game 
of oppression, cruelty and ' ' squeezing "; bloated 
ministers whom Ba Ahmed had found worth fatten- 
ing, lieutenants ambitious for dishonesty's laurels, 
and plain, steady-going holders of place, who, judged 
by Marrakish standards, kept their hands clean ; all 
alike were vitally affected and disturbed, frightened 
and jostled out of their respective ruts, by Abd el 
Aziz's sudden, energetic bound into his Sultan's role. 
And the pale woman behind the throne, with her 
faded repute for beauty the student of Oriental 
character, the observer of racial laws and their out- 
working, would give much to know exactly what the 
trend and tenor of her mind, so prolific of elaborate 
yet infinitely-circumscribed intrigue, may have been at 


this time. Who shall say what swiftly-soaring hopes 
may have dwindled and fallen into resigned paltriness 
in the brain of that racially-handicapped woman ? 
what sudden, climbing ambitions may have tripped 
and slid into the venal quagmire of routine in that 
barbaric headquarters of Moorish corruption and 
decadence ? 

Casually-observant Nazarenes saw rich, cruel 
officials swept from their high estate by wholesale, 
and predicted the birth of probity at Court. Notori- 
ous gainers by oppression were loaded with chains in 
Kasbah dungeons ; the young Sultan's brother, the 
One- Eyed, whom cautious Ba Ahmed had kept secure 
in Tetuan prison, was established on parole at 
Mequinez, and, " Here's positive purity of administra- 
tion ! " cried the surface-reading hopeful in Christian- 
ridden Tangier. 

Of a sudden, all movement ceased. The young 
Sultan was lost sight of behind the curtain. Trembl- 
ing officials still at large, and flushed beginners upon 
the cushions of the wights imprisoned, drew long 
breaths, sipped tea once more, gave the praise to 
Allah, smoothed their plumage, and, for the nonce, 
began to regard their shadows with equanimity. 

The understanding Europeans in Morocco 
shrugged their shoulders : a gesture forced upon 
the understanding Europeans in Morocco by that 
most unyielding of all sultans whom we name 
Experience. It is not given to us to know anything 
f pale Lalla R'kia's attitude during this breathing 
pace. Certainly the Circassian summer of her vigour 
nd beauty had waned or ever the Wazeer's death 
brought about her meteor-like ascent as an indirect 
ling power. One remembers regretfully the ener- 


vating, cloying insistence of hareem influences and 
ties ; one learns of the extravagant importation of 
sweets, silk stuffs and gauds, and perforce one sighs 
adieu to the woman behind the Parasol, with her 
subtle, conflicting strain of blood other than that of 
those about her. 

(Lalla R'kia died last year.) 

Speaking metaphorically, his Shareefian Majesty 
Abd el Aziz reappeared on the arm of a commercial 
agent, a French Israelite with a genius for the 
"placing" of imported commodities. Allah's Chosen 
had been initiated into the select manias of Europe, 
and become addicted to golfing, the use of the camera, 
the bicycle, and other less pretty pastimes from the 
West. Deftness and alert curiosity came to him from 
his beautiful slave-born mother, and there were 
Christians who judged him accordingly an enlightened 
young man. 

Two other things happened. The tiger, which 
lives still and is the essence, the fibre of the decadent 
Moorish people, began to snarl ominously. The 
beast is doubtless well-nigh spent, but yet lives, and 
will live, while Moors walk the earth. And he 
snarled, as was to be expected, at sight of the infidel 
with his devil-sent picture-machines in the Sacred 
Presence. Other happenings are described in a letter 
received by the writer from Marrakish at this time : 

" As by this time even you in Tangier will have 
gathered, the Sultan has entirely put aside his very 
short-lived efforts to grapple seriously with the present 
critical situation. The Sus is ablaze with insurrec- 
tion ; pillage and general lawlessness are very ripe in 
all parts of the country ; Mequinez is now the home 


of quite a little colony of disaffected powers, Sheikhs, 
and men with followings, headed by the incorrigible 
and crafty One-Eyed One, Moulai Mohammed ; the 
country about Fez is openly in arms, its people frankly 
indifferent to the Sultan's authority ; the Filalis, the 
Sultan's own folk, in the Tafilet oases, are near the 
end of their tether, and will probably not long be 
withheld from suicidal attacks upon the French, unless 
the Sultan's promise to move the Court to Fez is 
fulfilled. And of that there is no sign at present, 
affairs of State being left to wait upon the affairs of 
Parisian shop-keepers. The bicycle and the camera 
(so deadly offensive to the best and most solid among 
Moorish people) are still delights, but are only 
prevented from palling upon the sacred palate by 
Deing served sandwich -wise camera, bicycle and 
nechanical toys as bread, a circus, and some Paris 
lancing-girls, the savoury essence of the dish. It is a 
;orry business, not only making for the very reverse 
)f the personal enlightenment your friends so naively 
inlarge upon, but stirring up in the Moors who know 
ill the drowsy savagery and fanatical bitterness of 
vhich they are capable at this stage of their decline. 

urther, whilst effectually preventing the Sultan from 
ttending to the finances or administration of the 
ountry, even in the most perfunctory manner, it sets 
ip in him an unending thirst for money, and provides 

deep channel for the dissipation of funds ; deep, I 
lean, when one considers the very limited nature of 

e supply." 

But commercial agents continued to press upon 
young Sultan the latest and most expensive of 
lectrical and other toys, and those far-seeing gentle- 


men the newspaper correspondents bade Europe 
take note of the remarkable enlightenment and 
progressive wisdom of the ruler of Morocco, as 
evidenced by his interest in motor cars and Broad- 
wood pianos. 

A mission was sent to England from the Sultan's 
Court, headed by Kaid Meheddi el Mennebhi (now 
Minister of War and prime favourite), a man of lowly 
origin and great personal ambition. And here certain 
remarks fall to be made as a duty, a thankless and un- 
pleasant task, but a duty which the writer cannot bring 
himself to shirk. Mennebhi was received in England 
with every possible courtesy as the ambassador of the 
Sultan of Morocco ; and that, no doubt, was as it shoul< 
be. But certain tributes were paid to him which neve 
should have been paid, though the visitor had been 
the young Sultan himself. News of these things wen 
abroad throughout Morocco, and were gossiped ove 
by the ignorant at every city gate, inevitable deduc 
tions being drawn therefrom, the humiliating nature 
of which can, perhaps, only be realised by men who 
have lived in Oriental countries ; certainly the infer 
ences drawn were not such as the British Governmen 
would have cared to have drawn, the impression 
produced was one which England ought never to 
have produced in Morocco. 

Mennebhi was met on landing by the highes 
officers of the Court of St James's, who were induced 
to stand aside and turn their backs whilst carriage, 
conveying Mennebhi's slave-women were driven pas 
them ; slave women whom any street idler in 
Marrakish has seen many times. A Moor woul< 
never dream of taking his wives abroad. Whei 
received at Court by the King and Queen of Britain 


the Sovereigns of the greatest Empire in the world, 

the newly-risen Mennebhi was allowed to appear in 

his slippers with the hood of his djellab raised. Small 

matters these, the stay-at-home Britisher may say. 

Let him ask any British officer who has served in 

India, and learn just what these small matters mean. 

Let him consider that Mennebhi would never venture 

to enter the apartments of his own scribe in Morocco 

in such a guise. Let him inquire as to the manner in 

which the accredited representatives of European 

monarchs are received at the Moorish Court. Let him 

icture a British Ambassador being received in audience 

t Potsdam with a cigar in his mouth, his coat collar 

urned up, and his hat on his head. And finally, let 

im bear in mind that no European can realise quite 

ully how much these things weigh with Orientals. 

But the writer would not be understood to argue 
hat no advantage was taken of the young Sultan's 
eaning towards things European, save by commercial 
,gents, and, according to this month's reports from 
ez, the pushfulness of at least one gentleman whose 
raining and position should have placed him above 
uch mercenary trafficking. The British Government 
represented in Morocco by a Minister whose heart 
in his work, and whose heart is thoroughly kind 
nd good. The late Sir John Drummond Hay may 
ave been more feared than is Sir Arthur Nicolson, 
ut he certainly was not more generally respected and 
dmired in Morocco. And Sir Arthur Nicolson has 
ell earned his high standing. His influence has 
en entirely for good, for progress and for humanity, in 
orocco ; and all credit is due to him for his strenuous 
fforts to ameliorate the conditions under which the 
oorish people live and are oppressed. The mitiga- 


tion of prison horrors, the recent attempt to establish 
taxation upon a basis of something like fairness and 
justice these things, and not at all his unfortunate 
and indiscreet trifling with the toys of civilisation, are 
what the Sultan and all right-minded men have to 
thank Sir Arthur Nicolson for. It may well be that, 
like a good many other people, our Minister was a 
little deceived by the successes of the toy-selling 
gentry, and that in consequence his influence made 
for progress of a somewhat too rapid and premature 
description. But the writer will not assert it, and, in; 
any case, it were an error on the generous side, and a 
far remove from the dangerous indiscretions of various; 
European travellers and adventurers in Morocco, j 
which have done much toward fanning, if not lighting, 
the present blaze of insurrection in Sunset Land.! 
Our Minister in Morocco has served Britain as the 
greatest Power of civilisation should be served, and he 
has been backed by a remarkable amount of ignorance 
and indifference in England. 

Having said so much, the writer may add that, 
whether or not the Moors as a people are ripe for th< 
introduction of reforms in their administration upoi 
the European plan, it is quite certain that they do not 
desire them, and that their officials, whilst servants oi 
an independent Moorish Government, will not permit 
these reforms to make either for honesty of admini; 
tration, for the profit of the Shareefian treasury, or foi 
the benefit of unofficial Moorish subjects. This i< 
quite certain. Just, equitable and honest taxation j 
for example, may, with great care and unceasini 
vigilance, be introduced into an Indian Native statej 
because of that great and powerful institution whicl 
is called the Government of India. It cannot be introl 


duced into Moorish-governed Morocco, for in Morocco 
there is no British Raj to be appealed to. The 
British Resident at the most entirely exemplary Native 
ourt in all India would understand this at a glance, 
ithal, one has only cordial sympathy and admiration 
or those men who strive against great odds to bring 
bout such reforms, even in Morocco. That is the 
rt that Britain has been officially playing, through 
er Minister, in Morocco. But Moors do not resent 
hese things ; they merely shrug their shoulders, 
hey bitterly resent the motor cars, however, and the 
ultan's daily chaffering and companionship with 
uropeans at his Court, with Europeans of no official 
'.|tanding and with purely selfish ends to serve. 

When at length the Sultan's long-promised 
moval of his Court from far south-western 
arrakish to north-eastern Fez did take place, a 
mporary improvement, a sort of waiting calm, set 
Moors and Christians alike, as it were, stepped 
ack to study the effect. The presence of the Court 
|ieans the presence of the Shareefian army, the only 
dy of regulars in Morocco. All sorts and con- 
tions of law-breakers, robbers and revolutionaries, 
own first impatient, then sceptical, and finally 
solently unbelieving in the matter of the promised 
tablishment of the Court at Fez, were now pre- 
red to bow the knee, to respond in peace to the 
ly sort of authority which is real in Morocco ; the 
ing, visible force represented by the person of a 
Itan surrounded by his army. Peace was firmly 
tablished, and the young Sultan was a truly great 
d enlightened ruler, pronounced the optimistic 
ropean observers and the surface rumour-gleaning 
wspaper correspondents. The commercial agents 


set to work with redoubled ardour, and vied with 
one another in their performances before the Lord 
of the Faithful. One induced the young man to 
use European saddlery in public ; straightway another 
led the monarch to appear in English riding-boots ; 
then both were outdone by a gentleman who pre- 
vailed upon Abd el Aziz to be photographed in the 
act of shaking hands with him in familiar European 
fashion. All these matters, and many more glaring 
indiscretions, went to form the subject of city-gate 
gossip, and were duly embroidered and enlarged 
upon by market-place idlers, who, when doubted, 
would point to some small real move in the direction 
of reform, some little administrative improvement 
urged upon the Sultan and actually brought about 
by gentlemen of the Foreign Legations, who had no 
concern whatever with the trading mountebanks then j 
lining their pockets at Court. 

" What ? You don't believe that our Lord is ii 
league with the Nazarenes ? You doubt me when 
tell you that he is forsaking Islam for the faith of th< 
pig-eaters ? Well, what do you say to this ord< 
about taxation, then straight from the Bashadoi 
of the infidels, b' Allah ! See for yourself!" 

The Sultan's presence was positively weakening , 
his authority, sapping the adherence of his people, by i, 
reason that it made his daily doings and associations! 
apparent ; and that was a state of affairs without!, 
precedent in Moorish history. The obvious, 
European comment upon this, of course, is that itj 
showed the hopeless bigotry and fanaticism of theL 
Moors. In speaking to the writer of these lines 
intelligent Moor answered that comment in this wise :-H, 


"Can you deny that the best class of Moors, 
mentally, morally and physically, are those who de- 
cline to have any dealings with foreigners and infidels ? " 

For the writer's part, he knew too much of 
Morocco to deny this. " Are not the lowest and 
most worthless among Moors those of the coast towns 
who have daily intercourse with the Nazarenes ? " 
The writer was bound to admit it. " Do you not 
always mistrust a Moor you do not know if he 
has any words of English, or shows any familiarity 
with European customs ? " The writer knew that 
such a Moor would not even be engaged as a 
groom by a European who knew anything of life in 

The intelligent Moor feels instinctively that when 
European methods and customs are introduced into 
Morocco, when the country is thrown open to 
European industry and speculation, it will cease to be 
the independent Empire of the Faithful. And he is 
right. There remains a great deal to be said, an 
endless amount to be written, on the side of Europe 
and civilisation. But, so far, the Moor is right. 
And, that being so, it should be easy to understand 
that what Europe calls savage fanaticism and bigotry 

^ j is to him no more than the patriotism of self-preserva- 
tion, the piety of living faith in his religion. Some 
of us, respectable, once-a-week Christians, are apt to 
forget what a real, living, every-day, life and death 

loa jfaith is that of Islam to its followers. 

It has been said that these doings of the young 
ultan, which earned him so many good-humoured, 

3 a fistupid pats on the back from journalists whose views 

e; 'l"un in stereotyped and traditional grooves, became 


the common talk of the most remote soks and city 
gates. They presently reached the ears of a Moor 
named Jellali of Zarahun, known to some as Omar 
Zarzouni, a man of peasant origin, yet a fellow of 
some parts, and one who had seen more of the world 
than the most of his fellows. He had travelled through 
a large part of Northern Africa afoot, and in the 
course of time had become a very accomplished 
conjurer, a master of legerdemain, and, from the 
Moorish standpoint, of the arts of magic. Now, from 
the magician to the saint is no great step in Morocco, 
and to the saint all things are possible. Genealogical 
trees are carried in men's minds instead of upon 
parchment in Sunset Land, and Shareefs or descend- 
ants of the Prophet are at least numerous as 
one-eyed men, which is to say, that one may find 
them in every city street and in every village. But 
Jellali, or Omar, was a man of some parts, and had 
ambition. To collect battered floos by the aid of a 
green flag and a couple of reed-players was no career 
for him. He fancied he had it in him to be a leader 
of men, and, being the observant fellow he was, he 
realised that he must have a cause and a war-cry if 
he were to succeed in this capacity. So Jellali 
pondered these things among the hills, surrounded 
by a handful of simple Berbers, by whom his juggling 
tricks were regarded as evidences of his supernatural 
powers as a magician, and proofs of his remarkable 
sanctity as a f keeh and a holy man. 

Then inspiration came to this adventurer, and, 
seated with saintly humility upon a small ass, he rode 
forth among the cave-dwelling mountaineers, a fully- 
equipped prophet with a fine, stirring watchword : 
" Down with the Nazarenes ! Morocco for the Faith- 



full Down with the renegade mock Sultan, who 
seeks to give us over to the infidels ! " Ba Hamara, 
or Father of the She-A$s, they called him then ; and 
the hardy mountain men, unchanged since the days of 
their forebears, who fought to stem the Arab invasion 
of their hills a thousand years ago, rallied about him 
with enthusiasm, while the story-tellers among them, 
obeying their primitive instincts instincts not yet 
defunct in Clapton began forthwith to weave about 
their leader's head a halo of legend and romance, even 
as Christians, early and late, have done in other lands. 
The touch of his hands would turn'bullets aside from 
the persons of his adherents. He could draw money 
from out the air. And so on, in ever-increasing 
volume and picturesqueness, till one day : 

" He is the fore-runner of the veritable Mahdi. 
He will lead us into Fez, and discover the Mahdi's 
sword of flame in a pillar of the Karueen. The Master 
of the Hour will appear ; the infidels will be driven 
into the sea, and the flag of Islam will rule the world ! " 

The Father of the She-Ass did not forget the man 
who first set this glory upon his head : be sure that 
inspired soul was well rewarded. And the following 
grew apace. Still, it was hardly the sort of following 
by which capital cities are sacked and monarchs 
dethroned. " After allour Lord, the Lofty Portal, 
is still his father's son may Allah have pardoned 
him! and through him the Child of the Prophet," 
said the stolid tillers of the valleys. (They have not 
that repute, yet history proves the Moors to have 
been ever the most enduringly loyal subjects, in so 
far as avoiding revolution makes men loyal, even 


under the most barbarously tyrannical rulers. The 
throne is not much to your orthodox Moor, but the 
Sultan is Khaleef, and the Khaleef is the Child of 
Mohammed, and acknowledged Lord of all the Faith- 
ful. (Turkey's present claim to the Khaleefate is no 
more recognised by Moors than it is by genealogical 
students ; temporal power alone supports it.) 

Readers of newspapers in Europe who have picked 
out certain facts from among the gloriously inaccurate, 
but frequently picturesque, reports from Morocco, have 
learned how at this stage fortune favoured the self- 
made Saint of the She-Ass. An ignorant mountaineer 
(quite possibly a follower of Ba Hamdra's), walking 
through Fez one day, raised his gun, fired at an English- 
man he had never before set eyes upon, and killed 
him. The mountain man fled at once to the most 
venerated sanctuary in all Morocco ; he took refuge 
among the sacred pillars of the Karueen, where, 
according to all the traditions of a thousand years, his 
person was as safe and inviolable as that of his Lord 
beneath the Shareefian Parasol. 

There is no doubt in the minds of men who know 
as to who influenced the young Sultan in the daring, 
unprecedented step he then took. Besides Kaid Sir 
Harry Maclean (whose experience in the country 
would never have permitted of his advising the course 
adopted), another countryman of the murdered mis- 
sionary was with the Sultan, and he has made no 
secret of the part he played. A wise and altogether 
good part, the average Englishman might say : and 
the average Englishman might be partly wrong. By 
the Sultan's order, carried out in dumb amazement by 
men not given to questioning, the fanatic murderer 
was dragged from sanctuary, flogged round the town, 


and publicly executed directly after Mr Cooper suc- 
cumbed to his injuries. 

" If only the thing had been done Moslem fashion, 
if private instructions had been issued to prevent the 
man's escape, and then, a few weeks later, he had 
been flung into prison, having been lured from 
sanctuary by stratagem, and subsequently executed 
as much as you like ! " sighed an elderly, peace-loving 
fkeeh in Tangier to the writer of these lines, in 
December. " But to drag a Believer out of sanctuary, 
at the bidding of beardless Nazarenes, for for killing 
a ha h'm pardon a Nazarene ! Ih-yeh, 
but that was a bitter bad dealing for our Lord the 

You may be very sure it was not in any such mild 
strain as this that Ba Hamara commented to his 
following upon the event, in the Berber fastnesses to 
the south-east of Fez. No other man in Morocco 
could have served the Pretender's cause quite so well 
and opportunely as Moulai Abd el Aziz and his 
Christian advisers had served it, in dragging out from 
sanctuary the murderer of the unfortunate Mr Cooper. 
From far outlying kasbahs and from villages at his 
feet, from every part of the turbulent south-east, and 
from the exacerbated villages of the Tuat oases 
I where men were already stung to madness, deliberately, 
J or unwittingly, by the French from over the border 
| with their "creeping" policy of mild aggression, 
liudicial punitive measures, and insistent advance 
>ber-minded Moors from the very gate of Fez itself, 
;hey flocked about the standard of the man who 
:ried: "Down with the Christians, and down with 


the renegade Sultan who would sacrifice you all to 
the Kaffirs, sons of burnt Kaffirs ! " 

Fluent newspaper correspondents in Tangier 
hotels, and their yet more fluent colleagues in Madrid 
and Paris, have told the world much of what followed, 
and more that did not follow. One of them, a few 
days ago, told the readers of a great London daily that 
certain people European ladies, no less, among them 
had left Fez on January loth and arrived safely in 
Tangier on January i2th, a feat that would have 
puzzled the owner of seven-leagued boots to accom- 
plish, even though summer suns had made all boggy 
ways passable in Morocco ; a thrice impossible 
performance, to speak plainly. Not loyalty, nor force 
of arms, nor statesmanship, nor any other such attri- 
bute of Royalty saved his Shareefian Majesty from 
ignominious defeat, though it is true that even Ba 
Hamara could not cut off the water supply of Fez, as 
the newspapers said he did. Only absence of 
discipline, lack of cohesion, and consequent vacillation 
among Ba Hamara's following preserved to Abd el 
Aziz his Parasol, after that fierce, before-dawn attack 
in the Ulad Taher valley. The followers of the Father 
of the She- Ass lacked singleness of purpose, and so, 
when the Shareefian troops followed them up with 
weapons of precision, they were mown down thickly 
between the mud walls of a kasbah, and many gory 
heads were carried off to decorate the gates of Fez. 

" And that's the end of the Pretender," said the 
Europeans in Tangier. " The whole thing has been 
tremendously exaggerated, of course," said numerous 
official residents in Tangier to the writer of these lines 
before Christmas ; " and now you will see that this is 
the end of it." Even the favourably placed and 


generally well-informed Times correspondent, then 
actually in Fez, wrote : 

" Here in Fez, where a certain amount of mystery 
surrounded his name (the Pretender's name), and 
where the more superstitious of the population were 
half inclined to believe in his divine mission, his 
reputation is demolished, and he is the laughing-stock 
of the city. It needs only one look at the ghastly 
heads hanging on the city gate, dripping in the drizz- 
ling rain, to persuade the people that Moulai Abd el 
Aziz is their real lord and master." 

The writer of this article, going to native sources 
for his information, formed a different impression, and, 
in the Pall Mall Gazette, ventured to " croak" once 
more to the effect that Ba Hamara himself was scot- 
free in the mountains, and had shown himself to be 
the sort of man that would be heard of again. Author- 
ities whom the writer could not doubt had shown him 
what a touch-and-go chance the whole affair had been, 
and that hundreds of the solid, conservative class of 
Moors in Fez, so far from viewing the situation with 
the loyal meekness insisted on by the Times cor- 
respondent, were ready and anxious to forsake their 
" real lord and master " the moment they thought the 
thing could be done with safety. 

The newspaper-reading world knows now what 
happened ; how quickly the Father of the She-Ass 
rallied his following and gained a distinct victory over 
the Sultan's troops. (A letter sent the writer from 
Fez says : "Had Ba Hamara followed up that success 
nothing could have saved the Sultan.") And then 
came the news that Fez was practically besieged by 


the pretender. As a fact it was not quite so. Ba 
Hamara was five hours distant from the capital, and 
his following were dispersing to their homes and 
quarrelling over booty already gained. But the 
victory was undeniable and its moral effect great. 
Those European companions of the Sultan whose 
presence most offended orthodox Moors left Fez 
now ; but they left it some months too late for the 
good of the young Sultan's standing. Under date 
January 2nd, a correspondent, whose intimate know- 
ledge and life-long experience of Moorish people and 
affairs is unequalled, addressed the present writer from 
Tangier as follows : 

" The Sultan's present urgent danger lies in the 
antagonism awakened by his English advisers and as- 
sociates, his assumption of their dress, amusements and 
familiarities all inconsistent with his position. If, 
as is generally believed, Ba Hamara is backed by 
French assistance, 1 he will not declare a Jehad as the 
Times correspondent suggests. In Fez they are short 
of provisions, and, according to my Moorish informants, 
the populace is ill-affected ; a most ominous condition 
of affairs. Yet it is still believed by the well- 
informed that the Sultan may weather the storm. I 
hope he may, for his sake and that of the country. 
He will have to cut his European aspirations and 
frivolities off by the board if he is to hold his own 
unaided by Europe. The French here are jubilant, 
of course ; the English all depressed. The improvi- 

1 In the light of the latest news regarding a French protectorate 
in Morocco, I would specially draw attention to this. It is now 
quite certain that the Pretender did receive some European assist- 
ance. It is equally certain that, knowingly or not, he played France's 
own game to the great and signal advantage of France. A. J. D. 


dence of the Sultan and his advisers, and the indiscre- 
tions of some of the foreigners about his person, 
seem beyond belief. Still, the extent of the late 
disasters has been wildly exaggerated. The truth 
probably is that the Sultan's troops, being disaffected, 
simply abandoned arms and ammunition, and either 
went over to the insurgents (I know that some took 
this course) or dribbled back to Fez with wild tales of 
imaginary slaughter. Should Ba Hamara succeed, 
and Abd el Aziz be dethroned, either his brother, 
Moulai Mohammed (El Aour), will be proclaimed, or 
Moulai Mohammed, an uncle of Abd el Aziz, and a 
much better choice, will be selected, in which case 
affairs would speedily settle down for a time in the old 
grooves. The real danger is that when the Jebala are 
once up they may run amuck in despite of all efforts 
to restrain them; then we should sup full on horrors." 

A week later, the same correspondent, with in- 
numerable native and foreign sources of information 
open to him, wrote as follows : 

" The Ba Hamara rising not having yielded 
immediate results, a palace revolution has been con- 
certed (Europe, I gather, calls it a shrewd stroke of 
policy on the Sultan's part, a comment which reads 
like irony) to secure the transfer of power from 
Moulai Abd el Aziz to Moulai Mohammed. The 
former has been constrained to install his long- 
imprisoned brother as his Khaleefa, and this has 
given rise to the most curious journalistic rumours, 
such as that the Pretender impersonated Moulai 
Mohammed, and so forth. The next step may come 
sooner or later, but I know from native officials here 


that they are hourly expecting to hear from Fez that 
the actual transfer has been effected and that Moulai 
Mohammed reigns. 

" The French cannot conceal their eager anxiety 
for the success of Moulai Mohammed and the down- 
fall of Abd el Aziz, and they assert openly that the 
English are being run out, and that French influence 
will soon be all-powerful. They point to Mr Harris 
and the various English agents, travellers, ad- 
venturers and employes of the Court who have been 
frightened away from Fez after their presence, or at 
least the presence of the independent and influential 
among them, had done the Sultan such incalculable 
harm. To be sure, no one suspects them of deliber- 
ately doing harm, but they have done it none the less, 
and that chiefly by reason of their apparent inability 
to grasp or conform to the Oriental ideas of dignity. 
The Oriental will steal and lie, and yet demean him- 
self like a prince ; whilst your possibly quite honest 
Westerner too often degenerates into caddish licence 
and familiarity. It is now reported here that one of 
the most prominent among these doubtless uninten- 
tional offenders presented large orders on the Tangier 
Custom-house, on his return here from the capital, in 
payment for various orders he had obtained from the 
Sultan for electric appointments and so forth, 
amounting altogether to many thousands of dollars. 
The Moors say 80,000. Even if we strike off the 
last cypher it seems too large a sum for credence. 
The fact remains patent to all, however, that the 
Imperial treasury has been subjected to a depletion 
quite without precedent. It grieves and worries us 
that the English should have had any hand in such a 
sorry business." 


Later again, under date, Tangier, January iQth, the 
same informant cabled to the writer these words : 



" TANGIER, January 

The situation is improving. So far only unim- 
portant skirmishes between outlying scouts of the 
Shareefian army and the Pretender's force have taken 
place ; but the Sultan is acting with great caution, and 
my opinion now is that he will weather the storm. 
You know the state of the roads in the interior at this 
season. That has materially hampered both forces, 
but more particularly the Sultan's, because his is the 
moving party. The local troubles in the neighbour- 
hood of Tangier have settled down. The general 
opinion here is that Mr Harris was ill-advised to take 
the part he did, because Christian interference is very 
xasperating to the Moors at any time ; more so just 
now than ever, and more when coming from Mr 
Harris, by reason of the tales of his relations with 
the Sultan/' 

Mr Walter B. Harris, the correspondent of the 
Times in Morocco, in writing to that journal, has 
said : 

I merely wish to contradict the impression, which 
ippears to be general, that I am one of those who 
| have brought the Sultan of Morocco into his present 
unfortunate position by inspiring him with European 
jideas. No one has deprecated these ideas, or the 
[extravagance they entailed, more strongly than I 

The Paris correspondent of the Times writes to his 
ditor that " It is difficult to say by whom the ground- 


less accusation brought against your Tangier 
correspondent of having given the Sultan of Morocco 
evil counsel was originally started." It is more 
difficult for those who know Morocco to guess what 
may be the grounds for the Times Paris corre- 
spondent's statements, or what he can possibly know 
about the influence of Mr Walter Harris in Fez. To 
accuse a man of giving evil counsel is tantamount to 
charging him with deliberate wrong-doing, and Mr 
Harris is by no means in need of defence from such 
accusations as that. But he himself must be perfectly 
aware that his residence at the Moorish Court, his 
constant association with the Sultan, their being 
photographed together, and so forth, have done a 
great deal towards inflaming the hearts of the orthodox 
Moors against their ruler, his foreign friends, and his 
progressive policy, which latter is naturally and rightly 
enough traced to the foreigners. The present writer 
has ample reason for personally admiring and respect- 
ing Mr Harris as an intrepid traveller and a most 
entertaining writer, but neither this nor any other 
consideration could blind the writer to the fact that 
Mr Harris's recent familiar daily intercourse and 
dealings with the young Sultan have helped materially 
to weaken the latter's hold upon his people, to rouse 
their jealous resentment, and to exasperate their 
religious feelings. Further, these things have helped 
more firmly to establish a conviction which is very 
generally held among native politicians, and which 
Mr Harris himself has written of to the Times in 
these words : 

"The Moors are confident, after what passed/ 
between Mennebhi, who was in London last year as 


Moorish Ambassador, and Lord Lansdowne, that in 
case of necessity England cannot refuse to give armed 
assistance to Moulai Abd el Aziz. It is impossible to 
disabuse them of this idea, as they lay the entire 
responsibility for the rebellion at England's door, for 
fostering European ideas, and introducing Christians 
into the Court." 

Not many of the Christians introduced at the 
Moorish Court were quite so prominent there as to be 
in familiar daily intercourse with the young Sultan, 
sharing his amusements, being photographed by and 
ith him, and otherwise scandalising the Faithful, as 
Mr Harris did, all, no doubt, with the most innocent 
intentions. The common report in Tangier was that 
Mr Harris had been badly frightened by the state of 
things in Fez, and fled to Tangier as soon as danger 
menaced the Court at which he had been a guest. 
Those who have the pleasure of knowing the gentle- 
stlman in question, those, particularly, who have read 
er|his Tafilet, that fascinating record of one of the 
pluckiest pieces of exploration ever undertaken by a 
.uropean, will not be imposed upon by so ill-natured 
rumour as this ; but they, and others, will believe, 
js e|ivith reason, that Mr Harris left the Moorish Court 
ie ir because it was realised, unfortunately somewhat late in 
peiihe day, that his presence there seriously aggravated 
ifhe difficulties of the Sultan's position. 

" The Moors are confident that in case of necessity 
ngland cannot refuse to give armed assistance." 

According to his telegraphic report in the Times 
f January i6th, Mr Harris was himself giving 
;ar^|.rmed assistance to one of two warring tribes in the 



vicinity of Tangier. This would scarcely help to 
" disabuse" the minds of the Moors in the matter of 
their confident reliance upon English assistance in 
case of need. It would seem that out of the good- 
ness of his heart, and from a strong love of romance, 
Mr Harris continues even in Tangier, as it were by 
implication, to give dangerous pledges. 

" The French here are jubilant, of course." 

" The French here cannot conceal their eager 
anxiety for the success of Moulai Mohammed and 
the downfall of Abd el Aziz." 

"The French Minister here has made representa- 
tions'to Hadj Mohammed Torres, the Sultan's Foreign 
Minister, to the effect that if the troubles near here 
are renewed French intervention would be justified." 

" The Moors are confident that in case of necessity 
England cannot refuse to give armed assistance." 

These are serious words from the best-informed 
sources. They demand the serious consideration of 
European statesmen. The European nations most 
intimately concerned are England and France. 
There is not the slightest doubt that the whole matter 
of the Moorish situation receives, and has received 
without intermission for years past, the very closest 
attention on the Quai d'Orsay. The past has not 
proven that Downing Street is as keenly alive to the 
issues at stake, and, however capable we may be of; 
making up at the last moment for our singular and 
incorrigible unreadiness, it is certainly high time now 
that the Power which arms Gibraltar should have] 
formulated a very definite policy with regard to future? 
action in, for and about the land of the Moors. 


HAD] ABD EL KAREEM hitched up his 
flowing draperies and walked down the jetty 
with me, when I was leaving Tangier the other day 
for " London Country." We had been discussing the 
situation in which the young Sultan of Morocco finds 
himself to-day, and Abd el Kareem thoughtfully 
combed his white beard with three delicate yellow 
fingers as he walked. We parted at the head of the 
steps, where my boat waited. The fingers of our 
right hands met, and then, as the gracious habit of his 
people is, the Hadj raised his hand to his lips. 

" And what is your last word about the outlook for 
Morocco, Hadj ? " I asked. The long beard moved 
to a heavy sigh, the cashmere-covered shoulders of the 
old gentleman rose in melancholy deprecation, and : 

" Ihyeh'llah ! " quoth he. <( The page of Allah's 
book on which is written c End ' against the Empire 
of our Lord at Fez draws very near to reading. All 
that slaves (men) may do to hasten on that reading 
|i slaves are doing ! " 

" Such as, particularly?" The Jew boatmen 
below were patient, though their gunwale scraped and 
I bumped the jetty stairs with every wave. 

" Ihyeh the aggression of the Fransawis (French) 
[and the indiscretion of the Ingleezi (English), and 
Ihyeh, Friend, thou knowest well what ails mine own 
1 Fortnightly Review ', June 1903. 


people. I say nothing of the mummeries at Court ; 
but I say that a good bundle of faggots, well bound, 
will float a laden ass across a river, whilst, cut the 
faggots apart, let them float separately, and they will 
not bear a chicken to safety. We are not bound one 
to another in this my El Moghreb; there be many 
Nazarenes whose business and pleasure it is to widen 
our divisions, and upon what is the Empire to float ? 
Ihyeh B'ism Illah ! It is true that only that which is 
written can be. Good be with ye ! " 

And so I left him still thoughtfully combing his 
beard. And in Gibraltar that evening I began my 
perusal of the Marquis de Segonzac's remarkable new 
book, Voyages au Maroc, with its startling preface by 
M. Etienne, deputy for Oran, leader of the Colonial 
party, and Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies. 
"The aggression of the Fransawis, and the in- 
discretion of the Ingleezi," I quoted, as I turned the 
first page of this outspoken piece of Chauvinism. 

Broadly speaking, the British public care little and 
know less about Moorish affairs ; and in this we differ 
greatly from our neighbours across the Channel. Yet 
the most powerful European Minister who ever held 
sway in Morocco represented the Court of St James 
there ; yet the most strategically valuable port in 
Morocco was once held and occupied by Britain ; yet 
England's greatest naval leader held that Tangier 
was of even greater importance to the Power that 
looked to rule the seas than Gibraltar; yet the 
strength and importance of Britain's position at the 
gate of the Mediterranean, the highway to the East, 
depends very largely upon the neutrality of the strip 
of littoral facing Gibraltar from Melilla to Cape 
Spartel. It is scarcely fanciful to suppose that the day! 


will come when the fertile north-western shoulder of 
Africa, lying as it does, practically within heavy gun 
range of southern Spain and Gibraltar, commanding 
as it does the all-important maritime gate to the East, 
will prove of greater value to some European Power 
than could the whole of Southern Africa, with its 
blood-stained miles .of veldt and its fortune-bearing 
centres of mining industry. But at present the public 
that is stirred by the words Empire and Imperialism 
is scarcely more to be touched by mention of Morocco 
than by reference to remote centres of China ; though, 
according to more than one student of world politics, 
we shall presently have urgent reason to concern our- 
selves as much with one as with the other. The 
Extreme West (in the Mohammedan sense) and the 
Far East have many points in common, besides the 
fact that both are as inimical to Christendom as water 
is to fire. 

But even in England, to-day, the most casual 
reader of newspapers has heard that France is 
periodically accused, by travellers, by students of 
foreign polities, and by Moorish kaids in far south- 
eastern settlements, of aggression in Morocco. There 
have even been solemn questions in the House of 
Commons, followed by equally solemn and soothing 
replies. And, if one excepts the handful of Europeans 
who really know Morocco, it may be said that the 
civilised world has, without afterthought, accepted as 
final France's reiterated assurances that her only 
desire is to maintain that mysterious myth, the status 
quo in Morocco, and to keep peace and order within 
her Algerian frontier, where it marches with the borders 
of the realm of the Lofty Portal, Moulai Abd el Aziz IV. 
of El Moghreb. True, we were informed in 1901 that 


France had, with never a by your leave, extended her 
Algerian frontier across a belt of Moorish territory, 
two hundred kilometres wide ; but observant English 
readers thought of the north-west frontier of British 
India and were silent, whilst the unobservant 
majority, to whom Figuig, Igli, and Ain Sefra were 
as one, and the caravan trade route from Timbuctoo a 
mere relic of the Haroun el Rascheed myth, accepted 
the news with their breakfast rolls, and passed on to 
the perusal of the stock and share list and the latest 
betting. The Quai d'Orsay, as it might have been 
Albion at her most perfidious, spoke deprecatingly of 
the necessity of defining her Algerian frontier more 
clearly, and sighed under the burden the white man's 
burden of maintaining peace among the turbulent 
tribes of the Tuat. "We desire only to assist his 
Shareefian Majesty in the maintenance of the status 
quo in Morocco. That is the Moorish interest which 
France, in common with all other civilised Powers 
concerned, must continue to serve, with patience and 
loyalty. England, the perfidious, may well have 
other schemes afoot see else the favour shown her 
people at the Moorish Court France at least is dis- 
interested and single-minded as a child here." 

I recalled these things as I opened the Marquis de 
Segonzac's book, and remembered being jeered at for 
an alarmist for having ventured to assert and re-assert 
in the past that France desired much beyond the 
maintenance of the status quo in Morocco. I found 
that the Marquis kept tolerably clear of politics in his 
very interesting, if unsatisfying, book. I gathered 
that he had gleaned a great deal of highly useful 
information on his travels for the French Foreign 
Office. At least, I imagine that he gleaned for the 


French Foreign Office, and that for these reasons : I 
know that he did travel over unfrequented ways ; I 
am practically certain that he obtained much first- 
hand information of a rare sort : I satisfied myself by 
perusal of his book that he had not dispensed his 
gleanings to the reading public. Rather had he 
given out to the public just such husks and chaff, such 
winnowings of a rich crop as may be gathered by the 
casual observer in Christian-influenced Tangier. But, 
as has been indicated, the preface to this book (this 
book which will interest students of Morocco rather 
by reason of the reserve of knowledge it suggests 
than of the information it imparts) was written by the 
Deputy for Oran, a French politician whose influence 
in Algeria and whose very prominent position in 
the Chamber of Deputies gives weight to his words. 
The reserve of the book is remarkable severely 
diplomatic. The outspoken frankness of its authori- 
tative preface is a good key with which to open doors 
left closed by the Marquis de Segonzac. One has 
thought of the Marquis de Segonzac as a young 
gentleman more remarkable for adventurous daring 
than for discretion or diplomacy ; but in this book he 
appears a veritable Machiavelli beside the writer of 
his preface, who heads the Colonial party in Paris. 
Says M. Etienne of the author of these Voyages au 
Maroc : 

" The author makes it a rule not to draw political 
conclusions. But he has chosen Morocco for the 
iscene of his explorations, feeling that the knowledge 
| of that country is of the first importance to France ; 
md it is this which gives his work its particular 
[interest. Upon the solution of the Morocco question 


depends the future of France." (The italics are mine.) 
" There is no question here of one of those rich and 
more or less desirable countries which it is possible to 
divide. The enormous sacrifices which France has 
made in Algeria and Tunis will be made worthless if 
this solution is not in conformity with French interests 
and rights. France holds these rights from Bugeaud, 
and Lamoriciere, from her army of Africa, and from 
her Algerian colonists. What other European Power 
can show similar rights ? " 

To judge from all her official assurances to the 
rest of Europe, France would have us believe that 
the vague rights referred to here are the privileges of 
helping the Sultan to maintain the status quo in 
Morocco, and keeping the peace on the Moorish- 
Algerian frontier ! But even the careless English 
newspaper reader could hardly be asked to accept 
such suggestions in the light of a passage like the 
following : 

"Apart from the question of the Straits of 
Gibraltar, which alone is truly international, France 
cannot divide Morocco with anyone" (English readers 
are requested to give these italicised words their 
thoughtful consideration, bearing in mind the nature 
of the authority behind them.) " From the political 
point of view the present position of France in 
Morocco is equivalent to the efforts of seventy years 
nullified. From the economical point of view 
Algeria is impoverished by the development on its 
flank of a country whose climate and products are 
similar, whilst it is very much more fertile. Finally, 
from the Mussulman point of view, Islam in Northern 


Africa, escaping from our sphere of influence, French 
possessions may catch fire all at once, as the Algerian 
forests are kindled by the siroccos of summer, by 
reason of a European Power endeavouring to re- 
commence the crusade of Christianity against the 
Mussulmans, and thus putting its foot upon an 
ant-heap. Such is the future which awaits us if we 
admit the establishment beside us of any European 

Is not that fine, and frank, and French ? And how 
well M. Etienne manages his warning dig at Britain 
the perfidious in connection with crusades and ant- 
heaps ! That is his comment upon Britain's policy at 
the Moorish Court since the death of Regent Wazeer 
Ba Hamed : a policy which for the first time in 
several years has suggested, not a definite purpose, 
but a degree of wakefulness which is better than 
absolute indifference. "If we admit the establish- 
ment beside us " France's own establishment there 
is here taken as a matter of course. Thus airily does 
M. Etienne repudiate and brush aside all France's 
official assurances regarding her policy in Morocco 
during the past decade. 

And now let us consider the grounds upon which the 
Deputy for Oran bases his claims for France in Morocco. 
It will be found that if the claims are judged daring, 

e only word left to apply to the grounds upon which 

ey are based will be " insolent ! " 

"It is not only that Morocco does not present in 
my way for the other Powers the same interest as for 
but one may say without paradox that their 
'.nterest, well understood, is to oppose nothing to our 


preponderance. Several foreign writers who are 
above suspicion have expressed this sentiment plainly 
again and again, and if their language has somewhat 
changed of late we have only our weakness and 
timidity to blame. What in effect do the Powers 
want ? Peace and the security which will permit 
them to develop their commerce, and in a probably 
not distant future to devote themselves to agriculture. 
France only, with her experience of the Mussulman 
and the Berber, can succeed in such an enterprise." 

There is something almost magnificent about M. 
Etienne. " France only with her experience of the 
Mussulman." That is something like vanity! It 
displays a patriotism peculiarly French. A patriot of 
our own presented his blind eye to the telescope 
levelled at certain signals. The Deputy for Oran 
shuts his eyes to the history of the past century, and 
utterly ignores India and Egypt, and the greater part 
of the Mohammedan world as known to Europe, in 
the heat of his own dream of the establishment of a 
French Empire in North Africa. His reference to 
the Powers and agriculture must be regarded, one 
apprehends, as a mere rhetorical flourish. Then, 
perhaps, with a thought of France's professed care 
of the Moorish status quo only, M. Etienne adds : 

" Any partition must end, in this rugged and 
difficult country, where the fomenters of disorder will 
ever be sure of immunity by passing from one 
territory to another, in hopeless anarchy!" French 
annexation, we must assume, would merely cement, 
in peace and harmony, the mysterious status quo. 
British criticism is forestalled, and the peasant 


conscience of France is quieted in anticipation by the 
bllowing naive passage : 

" 'Every position on the road to India/ said Lord 
Dastlereagh at the Congress of Vienna, ' ought to 
belong to us and will belong to us/ In virtue of this 
xiom England took the Cape and Mauritius in 1815, 
Aden in 1839, Perim in 1857, Cyprus in 1878, and 
Egypt in 1882 ; an admirable example of political 
intelligence and perseverance in the conduct of affairs. 
Let us adopt it as a principle that no influence rival- 
ing ours ought to make any attempt against our pre- 
nderance in the whole of Barbary, and let us 
repare, by every means in our power, to realise this 
:laim, without haste or interruption, with some 
ontinuity of design, and some energy in the exe- 
ution, though we be for this purpose obliged to 
cur to the last argument of peoples and kings : 
\]Ultima ratio regum" 


a I Thus M. Etienne, in martial vein, quotes the motto 

o jvhich once ornamented the muzzles of French cannon, 
ie whilst the Quai d'Orsay asks Europe to believe that 
i, [he only mission of France in Morocco is the peace- 
:e [naking elder brother's desire to preserve order and 
Ister up Moorish independence. But even M. 
itienne, frankly as he shows us his country's real aims 
id |n N orth Africa, would not have us deem him ruthless : 

" Shall it be said of us Colonials that we dream 
ch Inly of victories and conquests? Such a thing is far 
nt, |rom our thoughts ; if our policy is wise, moderate, 
nd well carried out, we believe there will be no such 
cessity. On the contrary, we ought to present our- 


selves to the Sultan and to Morocco as a Mussulman 
Power, the only one capable of protecting him against 
the covetousness of Europeans." 

Was ever Vice-President so candid ? 

" It is for us to guide the Sultan in the way o 
progress, and certainly we shall do it with more 
prudence and discernment than our rivals have some- 
times shown. It is perhaps for Morocco above al 
that it is to be wished that France should be her 

It will not be an easy task to bring Moors to M 
Etienne's way of thinking. Algeria is too close to 
them ; they know too much of the lives of their 
cousins over the border. 

We come now to the consideration of ways anc 
means from M. Etienne's point of view. And here 
the present writer would say that, absurd as the 
French pretence of disinterestedness in Morocco may 
have been (it has sufficed apparently to hoodwink 
Europe, and certainly it has effectually deceived the 
British public, if not a large proportion of British 
statesmen), there is nothing half-hearted or inefficien 
in the methods adopted by France to build up and 
extend her sphere of influence in Morocco. Watch- 
ful, tireless and consistent, patient in small matters 
instant in punishment and peremptory in all question; 
of real import, France has steered her course towarc 
Moorish dominance with masterly precision for c 
quarter of a century, picking up threads carelessly 
dropped by England, disregarding no least indication 
missing no smallest advantage, and securing beyonc 


possibility of loss every point scored in the diplomatic 
game. The teaching and spread of the French 
I language, the bestowal of French official patronage, 
[and the granting of protection (scornfully refused by 
England) to the Shareefs of Wazzan, are but in- 
I stances. The uses of the Algerian army upon the 
Moorish frontier, and the gradual extension of the 
Algerian railway upon Moorish soil, are doubtless 
[very well known-to M. Etienne : 

" Undoubtedly there is here a delicate task, and 
me which demands not to be lost sight of for a single 
lay. This is not the place to indicate the means of 
iction at our disposal ; they are many, of the first 
>rder, and some among them are of such a nature that 
LO other European Power has their like. Let it 
suffice to allude to the services which we can expect 
from our Algerian Mussulmans as commercial and 
)litical agents. Islam knows no frontiers, and that is 
y those one might wish to create in Morocco will 
jver be useless. Algerian Mussulmans are regarded 
|n Morocco not only as compatriots but as brothers. 
Ya Khouia,' ' Mon frere,' is the greeting with which 
11 Moors welcome them." (The same remark would 
ipply with equal pertinence to the Mohammedans of 
mthern China.) "And then, what an admirable 
Instrument, in a skilful hand, are these Shareefs of 
r azzan, who have placed themselves under the pro- 
jection of France ! " (The late Shareef of Wazzan, 
'hen he married an English lady, applied to the 
Jritish Minister for English protection, which, 
icredible as it may seem from the diplomatic stand- 
joint, was rudely refused him. France naturally 
relcomed the affronted and influential Saint with 


open arms.) "We have compromised them, but 
scarcely used them. The Shareef of Wazzan is the 
first personage in Morocco, after, or perhaps even 
before the Sultan, who in some sort receives investi- 
ture from him, and who appeals to his religious 
prestige whenever he finds himself in a difficult 
situation! It may be said then without exaggeration 
that the protection of these holy persons, if we know 
how to use it, can be equivalent to us to a protectorate 
of Morocco. They allow us to act over the Blad-es- 
Siba, over all the independent Berber States, that is 
to say over two-thirds of Morocco." (This would be 
news to the hardy Berbers of Morocco, who, as 
France will find to her cost, should she ever put into 
action her policy of annexation, own allegiance to no 

Finally, M. Etienne says : 

" Scientific curiosity was not the sole motive of the 
traveller. Under the desired prudence of the ex- 
plorer one feels the ardour of the soldier, who * in 
his nomad dreams sees everywhere the shadow of his 
flag spread itself upon his path/ The Marquis de 
Segonzac has placed at the service of science and of 
his country his boldness as an officer of Spahis, his 
heroism and endurance. He has written his name 
beside those of those valiant ones of whom a people is 
justly proud the De Foucaulds, the Foureaus and 
the De Brazzas." 

The present writer has quoted this document a 
some length, not merely because of its inherent 
interest, but in the earnest hope that it may serve as a 


light by which the too easy-going British public may 
read more clearly their news of the march of events 
the downward march of events in Morocco. It 
would be difficult to over-estimate the importance to 
England of the future disposition of the Extreme 
West of the world of Islam. " The next European 
war will be waged over Morocco," said the far-seeing 
Disraeli. There could be no more serious menace to 
Britain's supremacy afloat and as a world power, than 
;he establishment of a French Morocco, linked to 
Igeria and Tunis, and forming a North African 
mpire. Further than which there can be no doubt 
hat (while the inevitability of the ultimate downfall of 
e Shareefian Government and the disintegration of 
he Moorish Empire may be admitted) the recent 
pheaval in Morocco, and the success achieved by the 
retender to Abd el Aziz's throne, is a state of things 
or which the English are partly responsible. Oddly 
nough, in view of the dishonesty and corruptness of 
heir administration, the Moors are not either a dis- 
loyal or an insurrectionary people. On the contrary, 
hey are loyal (piety and loyalty are interchangeable 
erms in Mohammedan communities), long-suffering, 
nd, upon the whole, law-abiding. The Pretender's 
ecent successes are chiefly due to the charges he was 
ble to bring against the young Sultan and hisgovern- 
ent. " Your sovereign is a renegade, his measures 
re inspired by infidels, his pleasures are those of the 
hristians, his desire is to swamp us with infidel 
novations." For those charges the Pretender's 
attle-cry the English are responsible. The British 
olicy, and the indiscretions of various private citizens 
f Britain, gave the Father of the She- Ass his chance ; 
nd, optimistic correspondents to the contrary not- 



withstanding, we have not yet heard the last of the 
Pretender or of the young Sultan's troubles. In my 
last letters from Tangier, from a correspondent in 
daily touch with the capitals and the Court, I read : 

"The situation has been growing more and more 
complicated and serious since you left, though 
perhaps, less immediately critical. The actual con- 
dition of the country remains much the same. As yoi 
know, that is sufficiently chaotic. But the psychi< 
conditions, the mood of the people, are more serious 
Now, at long last, the foreign Ministers begin to shak< 
their heads ominously and to show symptoms o 
anxiety. Only the French appear cheerful, though 
to be sure their affairs, particularly in Algeria, are 
tangled enough. It is certain that, with all their 
brilliant qualities, the French are no colonists. Abe 
er-Rahman, Abd es-Saddik has been endeavouring to 
bring the Fahsia (people of Fez) to their senses 
but these and the Anjerra people are said to have 
taken fresh offence at Abd er-Rahman's going to 
receive King Edward. -Indeed this feeling against 
England is being constantly, secretly and effectively 
fanned by the one European Power, with a well-defmec 
business-like policy here, and, aided at every turn by 
the tools of that Power, the stupid natives are playing 
into the hands of the Fate that is spelled Foreign 

There is no room for reasonable doubt that the page 
of "The book of Allah," on which is written the fina 
break-up of the Moorish Empire, has been almost 
reached. After the perusal of a document like M, 
Etienne's preface to the Marquis de Segonzac's book 


on Morocco (the preface is signed ceremoniously : 
<c Eug. Etienne. D<put6 d'Oran, Vice-Prdsident de la 
Chambre des Ddputds," and the book obviously enjoys 
official countenance and approval), there should be no 
room for doubt as to the real nature of France's aims 
and desires with regard to the ultimate disposition of 
is rapidly-crumbling realm. It is for Britain to say 
whether France should be given the free hand she 
ppears to accept as a matter of course, whether it is 
||indeed true that, " France only, with her experience 
f the Mussulman and the Berber, can succeed in 
uch an enterprise." If the policy of drifting be 
ursued much further, the time for Britain (really the 
ower most shrewdly concerned) to speak will have 
ej^one by for ever. But if the worst is to be, and 
Europe is to permit the establishment of a French 
Morocco, remains still for the present the question 
o|)f some quid pro quo, say in Egypt, and in Newfound- 
ijand. A crumb is better than no bread, and, once the 
/ejoaf is seized, it may not be possible to obtain even 
tol'iuch a crumb as, by comparison with the sacrifice of 
is|j.ll claims in Morocco, the withdrawal of harassing 
ityrrench pretensions in Egypt would be. Events have 
ed|>efore now proved the ability of the average English- 
lan to interest himself deeply, upon imperial grounds, 
i the fate of remote Antipodean wilds. Surely, with 
e records before him of the Soudan, of our Eastern 
mpire, of Gibraltar, and of the essential import to us 
f the freedom of the sea, the average Englishman 
an interest himself in the imminent fate of the land 
hind the African Pillar of Hercules. 



The following delayed letter, dated May ist, has 
now reached me from Tangier, written by a gentleman 
who knows as much of the true inwardness of Moorish 
affairs as any European living, and who, at the time 
of writing this letter, was journeying on the road from 
the Court to the coast : 

" From the evidence I have been gathering during 
the past few weeks I am practically certain that th* 
present rebellion has been carefully fanned and en 
couraged by an an ti- English combination on the par 
of two lesser Powers with the one Power whose 
policy in Morocco has long been clear to all whc 
know the country. I know now that the Pretendei 
was in Tangier early last September, and I air 
assured that he was in touch with European official* 
at that time. He is said to be advocating the claims 
of Moulai Mohammed El Semiali, a descendant o 
the Idreesine dynasty, the founders of Fez, and o 
the Mosque of Moulai Idrees in that city. This 
movement is daily assuming more importance, and 
counts many adherents, even in Tangier and in othei 
ports. Personally I begin to fear that the unfortunate 
young Sultan must be doomed ; but the English in 
Tangier admit no doubts as to his final triumph ; which 
would be well enough if the English were reall] 
prepared to back him in the tight corner they hav 
helped him to reach. But the bulk of the Shareefs o 
the country a power here, as you know ar 
working tooth and nail for his opponent ; and nov 
that I find that at least one of the European Power 


upports the Pretender, whilst all the friends, soldiers, 
fficials, etc., of Abd el Aziz lie on their oars, I really 
nnot see upon what grounds one can base any 
easonable hopes of the Sultan's triumph. It is true 
e is still paying his troops, but only with borrowed 
oney, and I doubt whether his foreign creditors will 
ntinue their advances for long, particularly when 
ne considers the extreme difficulty of sending re- 
ittances inland from the coast, when the caravans 
y be attacked at any moment en route by the 
eballa. I wish I could give you more hopeful 
vices, and, as you say, look for the brightest. But 
ere would be no sense in my deceiving you. I 
tljimply state the facts as I see them. As for con- 
ie|lusions to be drawn from them, it seems to me 
bvious that well, that France has made up her mind 
the time has arrived for her to shake the tree, 
fflhat Morocco, the ripe and much-desired plum, may 
All at last into her ready hand." 


TANGIER, November 1903. 

THE year that is now ending has been a remarkabl 
and, at times, a very exciting one in this strange 
barbarous realm of his Shareefian Majesty Abd 
Aziz IV. It may well be doubted if at any tinn 
during the past half century a more weighty an< 
onerous responsibility has rested upon the shouldei 
of those who represent the Governments of Euro] 
in Morocco than they have laboured under since lasj 
Christmas. At the moment one finds them enjoyinj 
something of a breathing space, owing to the younj 
Sultan's disbandment of his irregular levies, anj 
retirement in Fez. A glimpse of the situation whicl 
by comparison, gives the European Legations hei 
pause for rest, would go far toward making clear tj 
English readers the sort of strain to which they havj 
been subjected during recent months. 

The town of Tetuan is situated some forty odj 
miles, a long day's ride in this country, from Tangiej 
The writer was speaking to a gentleman in Tangi< 
the other day who has been trying for the last fr 
months to obtain a few loads of a certain kind of ti| 
which have been on order for him in Tetuan sin< 
last June. The tiles are waiting there, and tl 
purchaser is waiting here, and offering any sort 
rates for transport. But between them lie fori 



>dd miles of road which no man may hope to pass 
dess at the head of an army. And this is breathing 
ime for the Legations. 

Again, some months ago, the lieutenant of the 
ihaleefa of Tangier was seized beside his chief, 
athin a couple of hours' ride of Tangier, by a band 
bf tribesmen. The Khaleefa himself was bidden ride 
>ack to Tangier and praise Allah for a whole skin, 
'he assistant was maltreated in an indescribably 
isgusting manner : his eyes were put out with his 
>wn spurs made red-hot, he was clubbed, branded 
ith hot irons, and left naked to die on an exposed 
lill-side. By a chance which puzzles European 
loctors this unfortunate creature survives yet, a 
Deplorable and tortured wreck. His assailants stride 
||nto Tangier Sok, their guns on their arms, whenever 
ie fancy takes them, and no man dares to say them 
.ay, for now during the moment of comparative 
bst for their excellencies the European Bashadors 
Liere is no sort of Government in Morocco, save the 
||rimitive sort we call tribal, no taxes have been paid 
>r the better part of two years, and the only law that 
ins among Moors is the easily demonstrable one 
r hich decrees that might is right and that the man 
rho shoots first wins. 

To be sure it might be said that the European 
Ministers are not here to administrate native affairs, 
id that this state of absolute anarchy among Moors 
no immediate concern of theirs. One must be 
jre among the Moors to realise fully and intimately 
ie fallacy of this. Take, for example, the case of 
snor Cologan, the Spanish Ambassador, who, by 
ie way, as doyen of the Diplomatic Corps in Pekin, 
is the Minister chosen to take over the payment of 


the last Chinese indemnity. As Spanish Minister j 
here, Senor Cologan is responsible for the safety and I 
well-being of four- fifths of the European community 1 
in Morocco, a section which may be said to include] 
the whole of the "poor whites," a populace the! 
governing of which would be no easy task even in 
the midst of all the resources of European civilisation,! 
since it embraces a substantial portion of the criminal! 
riff-raff of Southern Spain, escapees from the convictj 
settlement at Ceuta, and undesirables *of all sortsj 
for whom the slums of Cadiz and .of Andalusiai 
generally have become temporarily too hot. There] 
is plenty of aguardiente in Morocco, and the vilest ofj 
Hamburg gin is available to the poorest. Spanis 
blood runs at least as hotly here as in Spain, and, 
putting aside the ever-ready knife, of which th 
Spaniard of all grades is a past master, there are n 
restrictions here in the matter of carrying arm! 
Picture to yourself, then, the narrow streets an 
arched culs-de-sac of Tangier by night, the Spanis 
idlers clustered about little drinking dens, wil 
Moorish tribesmen with guns at the ready, and 
their fanatical hearts the consciousness that at this tim 
no law holds, or is pretended to hold, outside the wall 
of the foreign Legations. Here you have hereditan 
enemies of the most unmanageable sort rubbin: 
shoulders every moment ; upon the one hand, to< 
often, the habit of crime and a mind inflamed by vil 
spirit ; upon the other, a semi-savage fanatic to whoi 
the slaying of an infidel is a virtue, proud ye 
decadent, and withal hotly aware that for a year an< 
more all authority has been mocked in his countr 
and no kaid has dared demand the payment of 
single tax. A sudden oath, the flash of a knife, th 


crack of a Mauser in Moorish hands, one fanatic 
shout of, " Death to the Nazarenes, who have made 
an infidel of our Sultan, and are robbing us of our 
country ! " and what then of security ? What then of 
the stored banks and Jewish houses of business? 
What then of , the white women and children behind 
flimsy walls in pent and crowded Tangier, or in its 
straggling suburbs, and among the isolation of its 
villas on " The Mountain"? 

Senor tologan, even more, perhaps, than his 
colleagues of the other Legations, has had much to 
occupy his mind this year. 

In the French Legation, M. Saint Rene-de 
Taillandier, a man of scholarly and academic family, 
las a delicate and difficult position to hold. French 
pretensions in Morocco are very high ; they are based 
upon the aims and longings, not to speak of deliberate 
actions and intentions, of the most ambitious 
statesmen produced by France during half a century. 
They are fanned and fostered by the military 
authorities across the Algerian frontier that vague 
but ever-advancing line which has now reached 
Figuig in the south-east. The military party have 
their inspired organs in the press ; the younger 
officers in Algeria have long been frenetic, athirst for 
lory and advancement. And in Paris there is the 
Bloc, the all-powerful Bloc, whose tail is socialistic and 
strongly anti-military, and whose mouth-piece in 
Morocco is M. Saint Rene-de Taillandier. Truly a 
very difficult and delicate position, in which M. de 
Taillandier must be grateful for the fact that, in the 
Personnel of his Legation, he has a circle of excep- 
tionally able and loyal colleagues. The French 
Minister has been unjustly accused of being pro- 


English. The accusation is a tribute to his high 
sense of honour and of justice. 

M. de Bacheracht, the Russian Minister in 
Morocco, is here to serve French interests, a 
substantial addition to the strength of French in- 
fluence. M. de Bacheracht has fulfilled this task in 
so courteous and considerate a spirit that even those 
whose policy is necessarily opposed to that of France 
(and, consequently, to that of Russia) have been led 
to entertain a warm and sincere regard for the 
personality of the Russian Minister. 

In the German Legation, Baron F. de Ment- 
zingen is more fortunately placed than M. Saint 
Rene-de Taillandier, for Germany has no traditional 
pretensions in Morocco. The development of her 
commerce here is Germany's simple and well-served 
aim, and in his work in Morocco Baron Mentzingen 
is assisted by a staff of honourable German gentlemen 
of a stamp not connected with intrigue of any sort. 
The Italian embassy in Morocco is ably served, and 
contains much special knowledge of Moorish customs 
and affairs. But the present policy of Italy in this 
country is one of absolute passivity, and therefore is 
not a difficult one to handle. One may take it that 
French ambitions here, high as they are, will not be 
checked by Italy. M. G. de Gaspardy and Le 
Comte Conrad de Buisseret, the present Ambassadors 
here from Austria and Belgium respectively, whilst 
doubtless sharing to some extent in the anxiety which 
has ruled in all the Legations, have had fewer diffi- 
culties to face than have most of their colleagues. 

Readers of newspapers in England, with or with- 
out knowledge of the inwardness of Moorish affairs, 
should be aware, one thinks, that Sir Arthur Nicolson, 


the British Ambassador and Minister Plenipotentiary 
in Morocco, has this year had to deal with issues of 
exceeding delicacy and complexity. The responsi- 
bility upon his shoulders has been heavy and 
continuous, and he has borne it with conspicuous 
success in circumstances of exceptional difficulty. It 
may be pointed out that the strategic position of 
I Gibraltar in relation to Tangier, as being the nearest 
| point from which the aid of European troops might 
be obtained in case of emergency, has in a sense made 
[Sir Arthur Nicolson responsible for the safety of the 
rhole European community in Morocco. The con- 
listent tact and discretion which in the past have 
irved to render Sir Arthur the most popular and 
generally-respected Minister who has represented 
Britain in Morocco for many years, have not failed 
lim at any moment during these most harassing 
tenths of his residence here. There have been 
junctures, more than a few, this year, at which a 
momentary loss of discretion, a momentary weakness 
pr yielding to not unnatural panic (many and varied 
were the kinds of pressure brought to bear upon our 
Minister while troops in Gibraltar awaited orders to 
pmbark at any moment for Morocco) would have 
precipitated, if not actual disaster, at least a crisis 
which would have produced consternation in half the 
Chancelleries of Europe. The very regrettable affair 
bf Mr Walter B. Harris's captivity, the issues 
nvolved by which were very much more than merely 
Individual, was but one among several difficult com- 
plications which our Minister handled with the 
greatest skill, moderation and success. (In this con- 
lection, by the way, it may be mentioned that Sir 
Arthur has handed to the young Shareef of Wazan, 


Moulai Ahmet, a handsomely-inscribed gold watch J 
from the British Government, as a mark of apprecia- 
tion of the Shareef s good offices as mediator between I 
the authorities and the tribesmen in Mr Harris's I 

An Ambassador cannot go beyond the policy and | 
decisions of his Government, but it may fairly be said 
that, according to their merits, the Governments of 
Europe have been served in Morocco during a season 
of great stress and difficulty with conspicuous ability, 
loyalty and discretion. Further, if the European 
Powers, and particularly the French and English 
Governments, could but agree upon a policy that 
should be at once definite, mutual, generous and firm 
in relation to Morocco, it may be regarded as certain, 
first, that their present representatives here would 
pursue and apply that policy successfully, and, second, 
that a now rapidly-crumbling State might be saved in 
its own despite, so to say, and administered upon 
lines which should make for stability and permanence. 
Failing some such assistance, the end of the existing 
r'egime must be admitted to be near. Unaided, the 
present young Sultan can never regain the hold his 
forebears had upon the reins of government. 




TANGIER, December 1903. 

THE personality of Moulai Abd el Aziz IV., by 
Allah's grace (and his late Grand Wazeer's 
strong head and hand) Sultan of Morocco, should 
possess a special interest for Englishmen, if only as a 
matter of noblesse oblige^ for the young ruler might fairly 
trace many of his difficulties to his fondness for the 
British and to our deliberate influence upon him. Here 
in Tangier our obligation is felt clearly enough, and the 
Lofty Portal's warmest supporters are accordingly the 
English. By the same token, even in Tangier, one 
lears mighty little of loyalty or devotion to the young 
man among his own subjects. And that is not sur- 
prising. The very tendencies and qualities which 
give him standing in the regard of Europeans 

enerally, and the British in particular, are the 
things which fill his Muslim subjects to the throat 
with angry scorn and contemptuous resentment. If 
t be true that a Christian may not faithfully serve 
Sod and Mammon, it is doubly sure that a 
Mohammedan ruler, in unimpeachably Mohammedan 
Al Moghreb, may not hope to serve successfully the 

hristian and his own world of Islam. 

There is something more than a little pathetic 
ibout the figure of Abd el Aziz ; that is one of many 
ways in which he resembles the feckless Louis XVI. 
:>f France. To feel this intimately one must perhaps 



be in Morocco here, among his subjects, for (despite 
its nearness to Europe) there never was a land the 
atmosphere and conditions of which were more elusive 
and difficult to convey to dwellers in the homes of 
underground railways and County Councils, than this 
Land of the Setting Sun. 

Rather more than five-and-twenty years ago a 
well-known man made a present of a beautiful 
Circassian slave, the Lalla R'kia, to Moulai el Hassan, 
the then Sultan of Morocco. The Lalla R'kia had 
other qualities than prettiness, and was soon more 
thoroughly in her Lord's confidence than any other 
lady of his hareem, including his legitimate wives. 
To the Lalla R'kia there was born Abd el Aziz, who 
now sits (in unenviable and insecure state) under the 
Shareefian Parasol, Sultan of this tottering realm. 
This in itself is something of a sore point with the 
orthodox, for there remains Moulai Mohammed the 
One- Eyed, born of the late Sultan's legitimate first 
wife, and by custom and tradition his rightful 
successor as ruler. Now the late Sultan was not 
pro-English ; he was too thoroughly a Moor, and too 
strong and politic a Muslim ruler of Muslims for that. 
But it will be admitted by all who knew him that he 
always inclined a more friendly ear to the English 
than to any other Nazarenes. He was less suspicious 
of the British than of any other Christians. He did 
not fear and resent us, as he did the French, for 
example. Moulai el Hassan is now in Paradise, how- 
ever, im ska Allah ! The point is that he educated 
his son, Abd el Aziz, the present ruler, in the same 
tradition, and taught him that the British were more 
to be relied upon, more to be admired, and more to be 
respected than any other infidels. 



The late Sultan left behind him, as Regent and 
Grand Wazeer (Abd el Aziz was but sixteen years old 
when the strategy of the Wazeer established him 
securely as his father's successor), a man as strong and 
as essentially a Moor as himself, and until Ba Ahmad 
died, three years ago, the youthful Sultan not merely 
was given no scope in which to develop his English 
tendencies, but he was practically confined to the 
quarters of his mother, the Lalla R'kia, and prohibited 
from the display of any tendencies whatever. For 
more than the half of a decade Ba Ahmad ruled 
Morocco and its Sultan with a hand of iron and 
according to the best Moorish traditions. From the 
European standpoint it was a barbarous rule. It 
certainly shut out all possibility of innovations in the 
way of Western civilisation from Christendom. Two 
things it did : It secured inviolable safety to 
foreigners and their property in Morocco, and it 
drew in the revenues of the country, largely into Ba 
Ahmad's purse rather than into the Shareefian coffers 
perhaps, but it gathered them in, and paid the 
country's working expenses, and kept down rebellion, 
and even the talk of rebellion. And as to the 
matter of the Wazeer's purse " Lord," said he to the 
royal youth, " I have no heirs. I am an old man who 
knows ; you are a young prince who does not know. 
Leave me then my free hand. It is a strong hand. 
Men tell thee I have amassed great wealth. The 
better for thee, Lord. The Sultan is my only heir. 
Leave me then my free hand, for it is strong, and 
\I know" 

Then the iron-handed Wazeer died, and whilst 
the Court in Marrakish quivered and rustled with 
excitement, young Abd el Aziz proclaimed his inten- 


tion of being his own Wazeer for the future, and the 
scramble began for the great fortune of Ba Ahmad, a 
portion of which did actually reach the Shareefian 
coffers. The young Sultan would be his own Wazeer, 
he said ; there should be great changes in his realm ; 
he would do as do other great monarchs ; the modern 
world was full of wonderful and interesting things 
which pertained properly to royalty ; all these advan- 
tages should be his; his shadowy, hareem days of 
tutelage were ended ; the king had come into his 
kingdom and would achieve great things. Conceive 
the rustle of approval from the hareem, the unctuous 
flattery of the whole tribe of Court parasites, even the 
echo, there in Marrakish, of European acclamation of 
the young Sultan's enlightenment, his progressive, 
modern spirit. But Abd el Aziz was little more than 
a boy, and if man may not live alone, Moorish Sultan 
assuredly cannot live alone, but can only rule by the 
strong and deft manipulation of many intertwining and 
conflicting currents of influence. 

One thing about Abd el Aziz, apart from his 
boyish good-nature, curiosity, and facile impression- 
ability, was outstanding and noticeable ; that was his 
deeply-implanted inclination toward, and preference 
for, the English. At his hand, then, the plastic young 
man found Corony, or Kaid (now Sir Harry) Maclean, 
the British military instructor of his troops. At the 
Raid's hand was Meheddi el Mennebhi, the repre- 
sentative of a considerable kabyle in the neighbouring 
hills. Mennebhi, thus identified with British influence, 
was at once taken into high favour and sent off on his 
mission to the Court of St James with Sir Harry. 
But the French must not be offended, so Ben Sleeman, 
perhaps the most able of the Wazeers, was despatched 



to Paris and St Petersburg. Remained with the 
pultan (besides the commercial representatives of 
Christendom, then busily introducing to his youthful 
lOtice the most costly of European toys), El Fedool 
rharnit, another leading Wazeer with an eye upon 
;he favourite's place. His main hold lay in his 
r arning : " Lord, your new advisers have not 
ielded up to you the half of Ba Ahmad's great 
p ealth." (It is a fact that some of Ba Ahmad's jewels 
p ere subsequently offered for sale to Christians in 
'angier, and not by Shareefian authority.) The 
r oung Sultan took ready umbrage in his own facile 
r ay. Gharnit and his party, the orthodox Wazeers 
,nd tried men, were, after all, the best. Mennebhi 
[hould find a dungeon awaiting him on his return from 
ingland, and that should be the end of his brief 
:areer. And Mennebhi undoubtedly would have 
:ntered that dungeon but for the friendly intervention 
if the English, and his own pluck and ready resource, 
it was, he was restored to favour as Minister of 
ar ; but mark this, and recall the methods of 
rench Louis XVI. Gharnit, his accuser, and the 
hole ring of his bitter personal enemies, remained 
ually in power and favour, and shared their Lord's 
unsels with him. That was three years ago, and 
at is the situation to-day, and the least hopeful 
ie ^ature of the young Sultan's position and character, 
is counsels are ever divided. He gives his con- 
ence to one Wazeer, and the next day acts upon 
e advice of another who is the bitter and implacable 
ponent of the first. Thus, upon one party's advice 
set out the other day to occupy in person the 
ronghold of Tazza, and now has retreated to Fez 
on the other party's advice. No concerted action 


is possible from such a Cabinet, and it is impossible to! 
look for a consistent policy from Abd el Aziz while 
he continues to fly from one to another of these cut- 
throat players at political advancement, sharing their 
counsels and acting upon them alternately. 

But Abd el Aziz is not the only inconsistent power 
in the world. His amiability is touching. His ready 
acceptance of European (mainly British) counsels in 
the matter of reforming his country's administration,] 
by robbing him of all spiritual prestige among hisj 
orthodox subjects, has placed him in the perilous and] 
unenviable position of a monarch who hardly dares t( 
stir outside his palace walls, beyond which his rul< 
runs not one yard ; it has emptied his coffers und< 
the long strain of unsuccessfully combating the in-| 
surrection it caused, and stripped him of all power oi 
replenishing them by making him incapable of collect-l 
ing his own revenues. And, having done so much,] 
Britain has suddenly turned a cold shoulder upon th< 
young man and tacitly warned him to look for no sort 
of support or countenance from her. 

Abd el Aziz has all those traits of character which] 
we are used to expect in a fairly intelligent younj 
half-caste, and he is rich in the defects of the type.] 
Stability he has none. His mind is alert, imitative, 
impressionable and flighty ; his character amiable, 
yielding, kindly, and weak as water. Reduced t< 
despair at one moment by the parlous condition oi 
his finances, he is unable to resist the temptation oi 
ordering the next moment a thousand pounds' wortl 
of some toys that have caught his eye. Easily re- 
conciled to a minister who has robbed and helped t< 
cripple him, he will fly into a rage and personal!] 
chastise the favourite who should so far forget himseli 



as to excel his royal master in some form of sport. 
It may be doubted if any Moorish Sultan ever wished 
his subjects more happiness, or was more cordially 
well-disposed toward all men ; and it may be doubted 
if any Moorish Sultan ever dragged the affairs of his 
realm into more hopeless confusion. Abd el Aziz has 
the alert curiosity of a schoolboy, the facile, hysterical 
impressionability of a clever schoolgirl, the good-nature 
of an English country gentleman, and just precisely 
no strength at all. And if anything in the world of 
politics is certain, it is that, failing British aid, Moulai 
Abd el Aziz is foredoomed to complete and final failure. 



TANGIER, December 1903. 

THE Moorish Rogui, or Pretender, at whose insti- 
gation the tribesmen of Morocco have been in 
open rebellion against their Sovereign Lord the Sultan 
for close upon two years, during which period no taxes 
whatever have been paid in any part of the Empire, 
has now proved himself, paradoxically enough, to be 
a man of no particular importance. He is the creature 
of circumstances and of his times, in a sense which ] 
makes his individual existence as Rogui merely! 
accidental. So much is clear; the Pretender is no 
Napoleon, no conquering genius, nor yet a heaven- 
born saviour and leader of the people. Were he the! 
half of any one of these things he had assuredly beei 
proclaimed Sultan of Morocco many months ago. 
The circumstances in his favour have been veryj 
many; those against him, outside the primary] 
difficulty, which genius would have overcome, of th< 
lack of cohesion and inability to organise whicl 
characterise the Moorish people, have been very few. 
Those writers who, a year ago, asserted that th< 
Rogui would never again be heard of, were doubtless 
aware of these things, and judged accordingly. Bui 
all of them, including the well-informed Timei 
correspondent, who was then offending the Faithfuj 




by residing at Court upon intimate terms with the 
Sultan, apparently overlooked the facts, then indicated 
in the pages of the Fortnightly Review, that the 
Rogui was paying his way in solid French gold, and 
that his appearance was hailed with unconcealed 
delight by the military party in France, and by army 
men and their supporters in Algeria, as a notable 
step toward their much-desired goal of French inter- 
vention in Morocco. In plain words, the Pretender 
has, from his outsetting, been backed by the military 
party in Algeria, at whose disposal, one assumes, is 
a share of French secret service funds. 

Another source of the Rogui's power lies in a 
curious misapprehension which has now become an 
article of faith among tens of thousands of otherwise 
intelligent, orthodox Moors. This is the belief that 
the man is none other than Moulai Mohammed the 
One-eyed, who, according to popular Moorish tradi- 
tion and custom, should now be on the throne, since 
jhe is Abd el Aziz's elder brother, and was born in 
wedlock of the late Sultan's first wife, whilst the 
I mother of the Sultan, his junior, was merely a 
favourite slave. Like certain more enlightened folk 
tin Christendom, the Moors possess a singular faculty 
[of making themselves really and genuinely believe 

le thing they wish to believe, even in the face of 
:ular demonstration to the contrary. The writer 

:nows Moors in Fez who solemnly proclaim their 
[belief in this particular myth, though they have quite 
[recently seen the real flesh and blood Mohammed in 
|:he Sultan's palace. Moreover, the belief is firmly 

teld and ardently proclaimed by the Shareefs of 
r azan and their great following (even by the half 
European sons of the English Shareefa) in despite of 


their knowledge, or of what certainly was their 
knowledge a little while ago, that the Pretender is 
really an adventurer who, a few years back, was 
robbing them in Algeria by posing as one of them- 
selves and collecting tribute in their sacred name. It 
should easily be understood that this widely-spread 
belief gives the Rogui a great pull. 

There is a third source of influence, drawn upon 
by the Pretender, which, though very feal and vital 
to the Moors, will not appeal strongly to the Nazarene 
observer. The man is a master of legerdemain, in 
the arts of which he acquired considerable dexterity 
during his recenUadventures as a mock Shareef in 
Algeria. His tricks would scarcely excite remark in 
the Egyptian Hall, perhaps, since Egyptian Hall 
audiences do not seek to find supernatural explana- 
tions of the performances they witness ; but they 
have done very much for him among ignorant and 
fanatical hill tribesmen. This fact could be illus- 
trated by a dozen stories of changing stones into 
French money and the like, but one must suffice 
in this place; it is the latest. 

In the neighbourhood of Tazza the Shareefian 
troops did succeed in inflicting severe punishment 
upon the Pretender's forces in one skirmish. One 
of the Rogui's thick-and-thin supporters warned him 
afterwards that much disaffection existed in the camp, 
owing to the fact than men who had been promised' 
immunity from bullet wounds and the like had 
actually been wounded, and even slain, by thd 
Sultan's men. The Rogui pondered, took his in-j 
formant into his confidence, dug a grave in his tent, 
and therein buried the informant, with a hollow! 
bamboo so placed in the man's mouth as to com-j 



municate with the surface air. Then the Pretender 
summoned a deputation of the disaffected. 

" My sons," says he, " I hear there are among ye 
foolish and doubting ones who repine because some 
of your comrades appear to have suffered at the hands 
of our enemies, the friends of the infidels and followers 
of the arch-renegade who calls himself your Sultan. 
This is foolish of you, but yet I would have you re- 
assured. Therefore shall ye speak with one who, 
slain in my service, serves me still in another world, 
and that without repining. Let us speak with Abd er- 
Rahman, say, whom the infidel-lovers shot yesterday. 
Ho, Abd er- Rahman ! Ho, there in. Paradise ! Speak 
to these, my faint-hearted disciples, I pray thee." 

The juggler waved his arm, in stately fashion be 
sure, and from out the bowels of the earth apparently 
the simple tribesmen heard the voice of a departed 
associate rally them upon their lack of faith and 
courage. The voice described a sumptuous pavilion 
in Paradise, under which ran a crystal-clear river, 
about which luscious fruits, ever of perfect ripeness, 
awaited the hand that would pluck them, in which a 
thousand big-eyed houris of dazzling beauty tended 
him, the thrice-blessed Abd er- Rahman, who, having 
by good luck died while fighting for the Rogui, now 
enjoyed a felicity to attain which, could they but 
realise a tenth of it, every mother's son in the Pre- 
tender's horde would straightway rush to seek death 
while fighting the Shareefian troops. 

The malcontents drew back in satisfied awe and 
happy reverence. From that moment they vowed 
they were the Pretender's, soul and body. "It is 
well, my sons," quoth the Rogui, stepping backward 
and placing one foot over the orifice through which 


his unfortunate accomplice spoke and breathed. " But 
this is now a sacred spot. Go then, each of you, and 
bring hither a great stone, that we may erect a shrine, 
that all men may see and know this for the place in 
which I called one from the joys of Paradise to speak 
with ye." And they brought their stones and built 
the shrine ; and so ended the Rogui's most famous 
trick, and the Rogui's most faithful accomplice. 

But, when all is said, these things the juggling, 
the Algerian gold, the Moulai Mohammed delusion 
are but side-winds by which the fire of the Pretender's 
influence as a rebel leader are fanned. These are 
useful beyond doubt ; but the mainspring of the 
man's power is the fact that he leads and voices 
rebellion against Moulai Abd el Aziz IV., whose 
spiritual prestige, the sole enduring basis of temporal 
authority in Morocco, the young man has utterly and 
entirely lost. The Rogui is not really Mohammed 
the One-Eyed. He is not at all of saintly blood. He 
is a common man of the people ; shrewd, coarse of 
habit, utterly unprincipled, and very poorly educated. 
(The writer has before him at this moment one of 
the Pretender's crude letters to the tribesmen, a 
reproduction, with a free translation, of which will 
be found at the end of this chapter. The Arabic is 
of the baser sort, the phraseology is lame, and the 
spelling abominable ; but even the learned among 
Moors applaud this letter by reason of the masterly 
cunning they hold it to display, and the manner in 
which, without a single direct statement after the 
coarse and clumsy Christian fashion it makes 
Koranic warnings and injunctions to incite the people 
against their Lord the Sultan, who, by some strange 
twist in his nature, has " himself become more than 


half an infidel and lover of infidels.") His name is 
Jilali el Zarhouny, otherwise Ba Hamdra, The Father 
of the She- Ass, an appellation which alludes to one 
of his many affectations in travel. He was a sub- 
ordinate servant of the Court with Mennebhi, the 
favourite Wazeer, in Ba Ahmad's time, and a bitter 
personal enemy of the said Mennebhi. His travels 
as an impostor in Algeria have been mentioned. On 
his return to Morocco the chance of his life was given 
the Rogui by the popular resentment, now roused to 
blazing point, of the young Sultan's progressive and 
European tendencies, and his ostentatious fondness 
for men and things, methods and pastimes, from 
England, all so deadly offensive to orthodox Moors. 
(In Morocco, as in other Mohammedan lands, ortho- 
doxy, piety, fanaticism and patriotism all mean the 
same thing.) 

" Your Sultan is illegitimate, slave-born, an infidel, 
the friend of infidels, and the enemy of all true 
Muslims," said the Rogui ; and he deftly quoted Al 
Koran to prove that the nethermost fires of hell 
awaited the Muslim who followed and submitted to 
such a leader. " Who is the Moor most favoured by 
your Sultan? A creature who plays infidel games 
with him, who takes part with him in sacrilegious 
practices, making pictures one of another, and in the 
forbidden garb of the infidel. See, here are the 
pictures. Who are the men who have your Sultan's 
ear and are about him at all times ? Christians, 
infidels, and the outcasts among infidels, who sit 
with him, appear with him in public, and take his 
hand as equals. And, these new laws, you know 
whence they come? Like everything else your 
Sultan cares for, they come from the accursed infidel, 


who will swallow up your land before your eyes and 
make it his own. Your Sultan is an infidel himself, 
and knows that this our Al Moghreb is no safe home 
for him. He has bought him a home in infidel 
England, and when he has sufficiently bled you he 
will betray you into the hands of the infidels and 
himself fly to their lands/' (The report had some 
time before gained credence that the Sultan had sent 
for a number of catalogues of estates for sale in 
England, and that after consideration Kaid Sir Harry 
Maclean had purchased in his own name, but for the 
Sultan, a large property in one of the home counties. 
The explanation given was that the Kaid had really 
purchased this estate for his own use.) 

It was a powerful indictment, from the Moorish 
point of view. But the thing of it was that no indict- 
ment was really needed. The Rogui taught the 
people nothing ; he merely put their own thoughts 
and bitter feelings into words of fire and sedition. 
The angry resentment and disaffection were there 
already. The Father of the She-Ass voiced them 
cleverly, and the people applauded him, at first, 
simply as a preacher. Gradually, then, the man him- 
self and his handful of most devoted associates spread 
abroad reports among the tribesmen ; and here, as 
may be imagined, the good gold from Algeria played 
a very prominent part. He was a true Shareef, he 
changed stones into gold, bullets could not harm him, 
he was the fore-runner of the veritable Mahdi, he was 
Moulai Mohammed the One-Eyed and rightful 
claimant to the throne. Wild hill-men sucked in 
these marvellous tales over their charcoal fires, 
polished up their flint-lock muskets and sallied forth 
to see, and subsequently to join, the new power in the 



land. No doubt the Rogui himself was more startled 
than anyone to hear that he was actually Moulai 
Mohammed ; but he found the idea worth acting upon, 
and promptly he set up his mock court among the 
hills, appointing ministers and chamberlains, a fly- 
flicker, an executioner, wazeers and counsellors from 
among the half-naked barbarians who rallied about 
him. French gold made the thing real, fanatical 
Moorish hatred of the young Sultan's innovations did 
the rest, and thus a fully-fledged Pretender to the 
Throne, who, be it said, would have swept Abd el 
Aziz from his place in a month had he possessed the 
requisite generalship, the genius necessary to main- 
tain unity and concentration among his wild followers. 
But he lacked this, and so, after every successful 
skirmish, the bulk of his levies would disperse to their 
mountain homes to discuss the situation and divide 
the spoils, thus giving the Sultan time to retreat from 
point to point, to reorganise his army and to establish 
communications. And the Pretender, despite his 
[assistance from Algeria, lacks initiative to rouse from 
their apathy and rally about him the great bulk of the 
I sympathisers with his cause ; i.e., the great bulk of 
the people of Morocco. 




To the servants of the True Shareef, the Kabyles 
of the Beni Messara, Setta, Ben Mezalda, Ben 
Yehmed, Akhmas, Ben Hassan, Beni Huzmor, Beni 
Yeder, Beni Aroos, Serif, Rhouna, Beni Yessef, Beni 
Khorfot, Osdrass, Beni Msaouar, Jebel el Habib, 
Anjerra, Beni Said, Aghmara, arid all the dwellers 
in the mountains of Hobt ; may God keep ye in the 
right way. Peace be with ye, and the blessings of 
God and of the Prophet. 

Ye are without doubt advised of the abasement in 
our land, even unto dragging in the dirt, of Islam ; 
to such a point that the wise are drunken with unrest. 
They find no means to remedy the evil state, and are 
much perplexed. All this comes, as ye know, from 
the sinful innovations and hankerings after new things 
of chiefs who court the infidels, following their lead, 
departing from the good counsels of Believers. These 
miserable ones, who indeed become infidels, are lost, 
both for this life and for the life to come. Their 
portion is fire. 

(This indirect way of accusing the Sultan and his] 
favourites appeals far more to thoughtful Moors i 
than any direct statement could. A. J. D.) 

It is on this subject that our Lord, the Prophet, 
says in his Book : " See ye not those who have] 
strayed from the way of God, refusing to receive his 
mercy, and have, by their evil deeds lowered the fame 
and might of Islam." He has said also: "Put not 




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your trust in tyrants, for from that ye will be cast 
into the fire." These sinful people no longer take 
notice of the divine verse which says : " God has 
bought from Believers their souls and their goods for 
Heaven." The sacred law condemns them, as the 
following verse proves : " He who courts the friend- 
ship of infidels becomes of them." The Prophet hath 
said in his Revelations : " He who changes religion 
and belief by heresy errs from the straight path." In 
such a case it is the clear duty of Believers to warn 
such an one or to destroy him, for the Prophet hath 
said : " Kill him who changeth religion." 

Meanwhile, all this hath been known to ye, and 
not one among ye hath taken up the defence of the 
cause of Islam. The Mussulman (here the writer 
aims more directly at the person of the Sultan), who 
s not bound to the vanities of this world, nothing can 
linder from following strictly the way of God. What 
can ye hope from the hypocrite, from the infidel 
delivered over to pleasures and passions ? Think ye 
that he will raise the fame of Islam, or that he will 
defend it ? 

Have ye forgotten the tradition which teaches us 
that the Prophet said : " One part of my nation will 
not stray from the right way ; it will await through 
suffering the mercy of God. This part of my nation 
will live in the Extreme West." That, as ye know, 
is our Al Moghreb. What happiness for that 
'country ! 

Inspiring ourselves with this, we have arisen and 
taken up arms by the command and by the help of 
God, and of His Prophet, to re-establish the might of 
Islam, raise it from its abasement in this country 
and reunite it in its dispersement. He who will obey 


these our commands from God and the Prophet shall 
have peace, and who obeyeth not shall be punished 
with death. The truth must be told ; otherwise we 
are lost. 

We give you to know that by the help of God our 
truly Shareefian troops have inflicted a great defeat 
upon the corrupt M'halla (army, or encampment) 
which Abd el Aziz sent out, and which was encamped 
at Hiayna. All the criminals who composed it took 
flight in the greatest disorder ; we, with the Mussul- 
mans who were with us, occupied the encampment and 
took possession of all therein : tent, cannon, horses, 
mules, arms, ammunition and valuables. All the 
Kabyles gave us what they could spare to aid us in 
sustaining the true cause and religion of Islam. Thus 
should all true Mussulmans do, and not as the miser- 
able and infidel-loving tyrants. 

We give you to know that you may take your 
share of joy and pleasure in the victory won by the 
Mussulman troops, and we bid you collect your 
fighting men and come to our gathering at Fez as 
soon as you have received our letter. Let no 
negligence or idleness hinder you from the defence 
of Islam, and have no pity for him who has abased 
Islam and is a tyrant. 

2nd Ramadan 1320. 


TANGIER, December 1903. 

WHILE the Imperialist wrathfully accuses the 
Little Englander of seeing nothing beyond the 
confines of his own parish, the Little Englander might 
reply, if he chose, that his accuser sees little within a 
thousand miles of home. The north-west corner of 
Africa, which Moors call Moghreb al-Acksa and we 
know as Morocco, is situated within a thousand miles 
I of Hyde Park Corner, and within fifteen miles of Sir 
George White's residence in Gibraltar. It is the wall 
that skirts one side of our sea-way to the East. Its 
ports are watch-towers that must be passed by all 
vessels of Western civilisation bound through Suez to 
the British Empire over-sea. Not only is its northern- 
most promontory as important a part of the gate of 
the Mediterannean as is Gibraltar, but its fertile soil 
is the main source of the supplies which support the 
garrison of Gibraltar, a far richer and more kindly 
strip of littoral than southern Spain can show. No 
|man with eyes in his head and an atlas at hand can 
fail to realise the vital political and strategic import- 
lance of the territory facing Gibraltar, alike to the first 
maritime power in the world, and to the power which 
holds already Algeria and Tunis. Yet, upon the 
(English side of the Channel, less interest is shown in 
the fate of Morocco than in the affairs of Siam ; 
[most less is known of the present complicated 


situation in this country which lies at the back door 
of Europe, stubbornly nursing its virgin riches and 
hastening the end of its own independence, than is 
known of the affairs and interests of Central Africa 
and Equatorial America ; and for this fact Britain and 
British interests will suffer in the near future, as they 
have suffered many times before, for the lack of the 
most rudimentary sort of forethought. 

Upon the other side of the Channel, now, matters 
are very far otherwise. In Paris, Morocco and 
Moorish affairs are as familiar to the minds of men as 
the Riviera is to Londoners, and with a deal more 
reason. (If Londoners only knew it, they could find 
a far finer climate, more beautiful scenery, more 
interesting surroundings, and a better fillip to jadec 
health, in Morocco, almost within sight of their 
country's flag at Gibraltar, than any part of the 
Riviera can offer them.) North Africa means as much 
to the average thinking Frenchman as India means 
to the English. Both French and English have 
long recognised the importance of Egypt, overlooking 
as it does the Eastern entrance to the Mediterannean. 
But Morocco at the Western gate, the gate by which 
the forces of Western civilisation must approach the 
East Morocco, the temperate land which is rich 
enough to be made the granary of Southern Europe, 
the land which could well endure the strain of 
sheltering armies and navies Morocco we are 
apparently content to leave France to cultivate. It 
is too close at hand to be deemed worth the big 
Englander's consideration. This is a pity, for 
Morocco is of vastly more importance to British 
interests than are a great many remote lands with 
regard to which the Imperialistic Britisher prides 



himself upon being well posted. And the situation in 
Morocco is urgent and critical. And our friends in 
Paris, unlike ourselves, are keenly and intimately 
ognisant of this. 

Whilst still nominally under the dominion of a 
Sultan and Shareefian Government, Morocco is 
tually without a ruler, and certainly without a 
Government at this present moment. There are two 
pposing forces in the country, both held temporarily 
in abeyance by the winter rains (which make roadless 
Morocco almost impassable) and by a variety of more 
mplicated causes. The one is constitutional and 
nfinitely smaller than the other, judged by the 
umber of its supporters. This is personified by the 
oung Sultan, whose power is scarcely felt or acknow- 
edged outside the walls of the palace that shelters 
im in Fez. The other is represented by the Pre- 
ender, who is now busily engaged in beating up new 
.dherents for a spring campaign. And at the present 
oment, what is to be said of the situation as between 
ultan and Pretender ? 

One may have two answers to that question. To 
nd friendly supporters of the young Sultan one must 
o to the Europeans in Morocco, and particularly to 
he British, with their traditional respect for constitu- 
pejltional authority and inclination to back a hard-hit man. 
' '""heir answer to this question would be that, having 
nflicted punishment upon the rebels in several en- 
agements, and having unfortunately been beaten in 
ertain other fights, the Sultan has now disbanded his 
rregular army for the rainy season, during which the 
tate of the country adds enormously to the cost and 
ifficulty of maintaining an army in the field, and has 
etired into winter quarters in Fez. But, the less well- 




informed but equally kindly-meaning newspaper 
correspondent will add, before disbanding his army 
the Sultan managed to sit down with it in Tazza, and 
that was a very big thing for any Sultan of Morocco 
to have done. If we then seek the Moorish view of 
the situation (which, in the matter of the Tazza occupa- 
tion, at all events is the only one based upon actual 
fact) we should be told this : 

In his innumerable skirmishes with the Pretender's 
forces, the Sultan was more often beaten than not. 
His troops were, many of them, drilled men, and much 
better armed than the Pretender's; but the trouble 
was he could not make them fight. The regular 
Shareefian army fought, it is true. It is their busines 
But the regular army, after all, is a small thing. Th< 
levies, the men to whom the Sultan was at last paying 
five times the regular daily wage, could not be made 
to fight against the Pretender, because they wanted 
the Pretender to win. By strategy the Sultan 
managed to get a garrison of his regular army into 
Tazza, where they were promptly besieged and made 
powerless. The Sultan himself was never within 
gun-shot of its walls. He camped with the remains of 
his army near Tazza, and made desperate endeavours 
to rescue his men in Tazza. His levies would noti 
fight for him, and he was driven back by the Pre-; 
tender's men. Then he gave up in disgust, disbanded j 
the troops he had barely money enough to pay, and 
retreated upon Fez, leaving the garrison in Tazza toj 
worry its way out as best it might. 

And now the Sultan's rule runs as far as his palace 
walls in Fez, and not another yard. His coffers are) 
empty, no taxes have been paid, or are likely to bej 
paid ; Kaid Maclean was sent off hot-foot to England! 


to raise a loan, and already, because the news 
|comes that he is not meeting with success there, 
jhis prestige at court is falling, and Mennebhi, his 
tyrotdgt, the Sultan's erstwhile favourite, has been 
Deposed and is leaving Morocco for Mecca on pil- 

" And," said one old Moorish scribe to whom the 
riter spoke of these things, "while the Sultan in 
ez is at his wits' end for money, you see the tribe of 
is European parasites here in Tangier, his infidel 
iployds of one sort and another, dismissed from 
ourt out of respect for the angry will of the Faithful, 
icking their heels in this infidel -afflicted town, and 
ome of them for whom, doubt it not, Allah hath 
rm places prepared in Al Hotoma spending the 
ultan's money, drawn on his order from the Customs, 
ke water, flaunting it in our faces, buying our land 
nd houses with it, and striving to think of new ways 
f dissipating it. There are two Circassian slaves in 
e town at this moment for whom the Sultan has 
id a thousand dollars apiece. You saw the Carrara 
arble lions the other day ! Phaa ! The infidels are 
king a mock of our half-infidel Sultan before 
ifl Battening upon the ruins of his realm." 
lotj From all this it will have been gathered that 
re-jjlorocco is, and has been for close upon two years, in 
state of armed anarchy, and absolutely no authority 
inl||olds good save that of the man with a gun. Even 
ut Tangier, with its Legations, you may see the 
tter lawlessness of the land. What, so far, has 
laceleen the effect upon the country of this state of 
areinarchy ? The writer will let one of the leading mer- 
ants and bankers in Tangier (European, of course) 
land peak for him : 


" The country has never, within the memory of 
living men, been so rich and prosperous as at the 
present moment. In itself, as you know, it is very 
rich and fertile. If its people have been poor in the 
past, that was due solely to the nature of the adminis- 
tration of the country, and not at all to the country 
itself. Now, my friend, there is no administration, 
there is no government of any sort, and no taxes 
whatever are paid. Naturally, then, the men who a 
year or so ago lived always upon the extreme edge of 
starvation to-day have tea and sugar. We know, we 
merchants. They have these things, and they can 
pay for them. In Tangier here you may see at a| 
glance the state of things. Land values have goi 
up enormously, building is in progress in every 
direction, house rents are positively higher than they 
are about Paris and London, business hums, money 
is plentiful, labour and food are high priced. A 
desirable state of things, you say ? Truly, in a 
sense. But it is very like running a profitable 
business on the edge of an active volcano. Call it 
apathy, the habit of fear of European reprisals, or 
what you will, the fact that no considerable outbreak 
of Moors against foreigners has occurred this year isj 
simply marvellous, and a remarkable tribute to 
Moorish common sense. You know how certainly 
and naturally it was expected. You know that 
British troops were kept in readiness to embark from 
Gibraltar at a moment's notice should word from Sir 
Arthur Nicolson here reach them. And I know how| 
often pressure, foreign pressure, too, was brought taj 
bear upon Sir Arthur to give that word how close aj 
thing it was. We may be grateful for the fact that] 
in Sir Arthur, the British have here the best and 


most generally-respected Minister we have known in 
Tangier these many years. The Moors know well 
there is no law in the land ; they pillage one another 
as the fancy takes them. How long, in such a land, 
does a state of absolute anarchy take to breed out- 
break and massacre ? Be sure we merchants and 
family men put the question to ourselves anxiously 
enough. Would I like to see the Rogui win, you 
say ? The Rogui is nothing to me, and I believe the 
Sultan to be a good, kindly lad at heart. But what 
every business man in this country would like to see 
s a strong man at the head of affairs, call him Rogui, 
r Sultan, or what you will. And to be a strong 
uler in Morocco a Moor must be a Moor, he must be 
thorough Muslim. Progress Why, yes, as much 
you will, but if the fabric is to hang together it 
ust be gradual and upon the basis of enforced law 
nd order. It is just pitiful, the notion of advising an 
miable young man like the Sultan to institute such 
nd such reforms, to see him agree, and order the 
il ||hing to be done, and then think it is done. This 
ountry is mediaeval. You cannot introduce the 
i Ijinished products of three centuries of civilisation by 
is If iving an order. Take this matter of the reformed 
tt method of taxation, introduced on the advice of the 
jiij [British. The advice was good enough, but to be of 
ny practical value it would have to be backed with 
roflnoney and troops. Instead of which, what has 
Si |appened is that the British gave the advice, the 
ultan accepted and acted upon it out of the goodness 
his heart, the whole thing produced anarchy in the 
)S ei|ountry, and, seeing that, the British have given the 
ultan the cold shoulder and left him to the mercy of 
an(|ie people they helped him to infuriate. If he had set 


to work gradually and carefully, a very strong Sultan, 
with full coffers and a good army, might have 
successfully introduced these reforms. This Sultan 
had none of these things. This Sultan my friend, I 
will tell you ; he has the best and kindliest intentions 
in the world, and, to back them, no strength of 
character or will whatever. Unassisted he cannot 
possibly hold his own, having lost his spiritual 
prestige for good and all. Assisted by France, he 
will become a nonentity and Morocco will become 
French ; which means the end of trade, broadly 
speaking. Look at Madagascar, and remember the 
fair promises and pledges given to merchants. Wh] 
cannot France and Britain lay aside jealousy an< 
join hands in keeping Abd el Aziz on the throne 
That would benefit everyone. It is simply a questioi 
of money and counsel. And if you doubt that this 
country would repay it, just consider for one moment 
what this country can produce in its present state off 
complete insecurity and anarchy. But Britain has! 
no right to play the part with France here that she I 
has played with Russia over Turkey. French inter-! 
vention here would mean the end of trade, and, asj 
I see it, a tremendous loss to Britain commercially] 
and politically. But intervention of some kind the!, 
country cries aloud for. It cannot go on as it is going I, 
Common humanity and decency forbid that, or should! j 
forbid it, whatever political issues may be involved.! t 
And though Britain is great at the game of waiting!^ 
or indifference, or whatever it may be, and the Frencrj 
Government of the day is anti-military, yet you musj 
not forget that constant dropping will wear away clf r 
stone, and the pressure that a large section of he.j a 
own subjects are bringing to bear upon France in th<jp 


matter of North- African expansion is both constant 
and heavy." 

Turning from this informant to The Matin of 
November 24, the writer finds M. Etienne, the chief 
of the Colonial party, dealing with the Morocco 
question in the Paris Chamber of Deputies: 

"M. Etienne separated himself definitely from M. 
jjaures, who would only hear of pacific arrangement 
Iwith the tribes. He said : * The Sultan has 
Luthorised us to direct and instruct the men of these 
ibes (M. Etienne's interpretations are quaint, and 
frankly daring as his expressions of policy in the 
tatter of French military ambitions in North Africa), 
they are the embryo of forces which he will have, 
lanks to our authority, With this policy enforced, 
r ou may be certain, on the one hand, of absolute peace 
in Southern Oran, and on the other that the delay 
turn to our profit in Morocco. When, in fact, the 
lultan sees that his strength comes only from our 
Luthority, he will turn to us, and when the Govern- 
ient, after having assured all Europe that we have 
LO other end in view than a work of civilisation, has 
:omplete liberty of action, then we can finish off the 
rork. But if you wish to act only by pacific arrange- 
ment, your efforts will be purely wasted ; and the 
;ribes, by way of thanks, will send you bullets.' (Tres 
nen ! Tres bien /)." 

M. Etienne, with his reckless candour and his 
a)frank, military ambitiousness, must be a good deal of 
thorn in the side of the socialistic Bloc, one fancies, 
or there is no denying that the strength of the Bloc 


lies in its tail, which is purely socialistic and anti- 
military. And thus we arrive at the present curious 
position of France in relation to Morocco. For half 
a century she has aimed at securing Morocco as a 
matter of vital and paramount importance. Now 
that at last the fitting moment has arrived, when 
Morocco itself is without a Government, Germany is 
inclined to, perhaps, rather sardonic politeness, as who 
should offer poison to a would-be suicide, Italy is 
ready to be placated with the assurance of freedom in 
Tripoli, and England, the great obstacle-maker, shows 
only friendly indifference, France finds herself unpre- 
pared to pluck the long-desired and cultivated fruit ; 
finds, in fact, that that master of every democratic 
state, the majority, is not willing to authorise th< 
necessary outlay for a forward move. But, as h; 
been indicated, there are many kinds of pressure 
which can be, and are being, brought to bear upon the 
French Government by the French military party ; 
and that which the socialistic Bloc would never 
authorise deliberately may well be forced upon it, 
and very shortly, by the sort of tactics which gave 
the Rogui his financial backing and helped to set 
Morocco ablaze in rebellion. 


Readers of the Fortnightly Review of July 
1901 may remember Hadj Mokdin and his 
letter, which was called " A Swan's Song from 
Morocco." The writer of these lines has just 
received another letter from Hadj Mokdin, some 
portion of which he thinks should reach the English 


public here. Be it remembered that in July 1901, 
before the world had heard of a Moorish Pretender, 
Hadj Mokdin wrote : 

" What shall I say of the Frenchman, the French 
protected Israelite, the commercial agent at the 
Court?" (The Sultan's Court was then at Mar- 
rakish, the remote and essentially African rather than 
Moorish city in which Abd el Aziz first tasted the 
power of his own hand.) "This I will say, that he 
has achieved so much that here, in Marrakish, true 
Believers must withdraw to the privacy of their own 
apartments to curse him. He and his influence may 
not, without dire risk, be openly reviled. And the 
most of Moors are moved in their hearts to revile 
this man. Nay, through him we draw near the stage 
at which our Lord himself must and will be reviled and 
held cheaply in his subjects eyes'' 

How absolutely true Hadj Mokdin's words (of 
June 1901) were readers may judge. From his letter, 
dated December 28th 1903, the writer of this article 
extracts the following : 

" My friend, the condition of the Lofty Portal is at 
this present more parlous than has been that of any 
previous Sultan who ever sat under the green Parasol 
in Al Moghreb. I am newly arrived here in Tangier 
from the Court, as you know. My son has this day 
joined me, after one unrestful week spent about the 
Court. My hand wearies at the thought of trying to 
paint for you the situation, but this I will say, that in 
my opinion the winter rains are our Lord's best friends. 
I am assured that, failing aid from your lands, where 


the infidel dwells, our Lord cannot possibly hope to 
take the field in spring-time to face again the angry 
hordes who will follow in the train of the rascal whom 
we call the Rogui. I call him rascal. Y'Allah t'if ! 
I have read his letters. He is a man of no parts. 
But, my friend, he represents the feeling which stirs 
the breast of well-nigh every Mussulman in this our 
Al Moghreb. Therein lies his strength. And, with 
the coming of spring-time (unless the French should 
forsake him) he will come with forces somewhat 
organised as well as forces may be in this land. And 
he will speak loudly at the gates of Fez. And who, 
my friend, shall answer him ? Not Moulai Abd el 
Aziz, by Allah ; not Moulai Abd el Aziz, unless the 
face of things shall have changed mightily. For, 
to-day, there is no Moor in Al Moghreb who would 
fight for Moulai Abd el Aziz, save those who fight for 
money alone and are indifferent to the cause. And 
how many of those who fight for money only can our 
Sultan buy ? My friend, tell it abroad in your 
London-Country, so that if any are there who care 
for our unhappy Sunset Land help may be given 
and Al Moghreb saved from the fate that befel 
Algeria. Our Lord has just no money left at all. 
His Kaid Maclean, they tell me, is now in London- 
Country, pulling every string within his reach, and 
pulling unavailably, to obtain money for our Lord. 
The news of his unsuccess is in the Court even now, 
and his prot4g&, Mennebhi, is deposed already. 
Meantime, my son has it from Hadj Abd er-Rahman, 
thou knowest, the Rogui is laying up stores of arms 
and ammunition, and French gold is plentiful with 
him. Think not that Moors will in the upshot rally 
round our present Lord. You of your faith can 



hardly realise what it means to us. To the Moor it 
seemeth that you Nazarenes, and more than any you 
of London-Country, have bewitched, debauched our 
Sultan. His European friends face us at every step 
here in Tangier, the household of the chiefest among 
them scattering money to the winds, flaunting it 
before us, while our Lord repines alone, almost 
defenceless, lacking the pay for his natural guards 
there in Fez. And, my friend, I say it in alKpersonal 
kindliness, you people of London-Country have done 
this thing ; you, even more than the accursed tribe of 
Fransawi (the French), have made a mock of our 
Sultan to his own people. Can you then turn your 
backs upon him in his loneliness? Be sure the 
Fransawis will not when the time comes for them to 
give aid. Give aid ! Thou knowest what their aid 
will be. And, my friend, thou knowest it will shut out 
aid and trade alike to any other Nazarene Power. Our 
Sultan is a young man with a large heart and a small 
head. May Allah pardon me that I should say so to 
a Roumi ! He has done, or attempted to do, the 
things which your countrymen bade him do, and 
thereby he has lost the last shred of power over his 
own people. Can you leave him at that? If so, the 
end is certain a French Morocco ; and that I think 
within a few moons. But can it really be? Is that 
the fairness of your countrymen of which you have 
spoken to me ? " 

This much, in all the complicated tangle of the 
Moorish situation, is clear the Sultan has come to 
the end of his resources. Though he were a far 
stronger man than he is he could not look to 
administrate his country without collecting his 


revenues. The opinion of those most concerned and 
most capable of knowing is that the present Sultan 
never will be able to do this. For the collection of 
revenues and the maintenance of law and order in 
Morocco two things are necessary armed force 
(which cannot exist without money) and spiritual 
prestige. Abd el Aziz has lost all that he ever had of 
either. One states the fact with the more regret 
because he has proved himself an amiable, kindly, 
merciful young man, who desires the happiness of his 
people and has a strong bent in the direction of 
modern innovations and progress. But it is a fact, 
none the less, and a fact that Europe (and especially 
France and England) has no right to turn its back 
upon. There are a good many reasons which go to 
make it certain that France will not ignore this 
regrettable fact. There are at least two good reasons 
which ought to prevent Britain ignoring it : one is 
that she is largely responsible for the Sultan's present 
unfortunate position ; the other is that Britain cannot 
afford to let France have a free hand in Morocco, 
which is what France will have failing British inter- 
vention. It has been stated in France that in the 
event of a French protectorate being established in 
Morocco Britain might rest assured that the ports 
should remain neutral. But of what earthly use 
would be neutral ports, or any other sort of ports, 
with a closed door behind them, or, in the event of 
war, a hostile hinterland. Merchants do not want to 
supply goods to the beaches of Morocco, but to the 
country. And, in the event of sudden stress of 
circumstances, not to speak of the steady strain of 
peaceful commercial enterprise, how long might 
France be expected to respect the neutrality of the 



Moorish ports if the hinterland were in her posses- 
sion ? History supplies a definite answer to this 

Again, there has been mooted the suggestion o a 
dual control of Morocco, and it has been argued that 
as Britain invited the co-operation of France in 
Egypt, so we should ask France now to join in a dual 
protectorate and administration of Morocco. Such a 
policy as this, almost any policy, perhaps, were pre- 
ferable to the simple attitude of laisser faire, but in 
the light of past happenings and present French 
ambitions the idea of a dual control seems rather 
hopeless. The French socialistic party would surely 
oppose it as an extravagance, whilst the military and 
colonial party would fight such a suggestion to the 
bitter end, as being more humilating than a complete 
withdrawal from Morocco. 

There remains an alternative. Admitting the 
urgent necessity either of actual intervention or of 
such substantial assistance as no Power could be 
expected to give without sooner or later claiming the 
right to actual intervention, we may narrow the 
possibilities down to the consideration of two powers 
France and Britain. Now, unless under the pressure 
of dire necessity, France will never withdraw her 
pretensions in Morocco. On the other hand, without 
running terrible risks,and facing certain heavy losses 
of more kinds than one, Britain cannot afford to give 
France an absolutely free hand in Morocco, seeing 
that its shores skirt the entrance to the Mediterannean. 
The neutral port suggestion is puerile and no 
guarantee at all. The dual control suggestion may 
fairly be dismissed, firstly as something to which 
France would not be likely to agree, and secondly 


because the hopeless state of things in Egypt before 
the siege of Alexandria forms an overpowering 
argument against any attempt at a joint French- 
English control of an Oriental country. But, putting 
aside the quite futile neutral port scheme, there 
remains this consideration : There already exists in 
Morocco a natural boundary, which divides the 
Mediterannean and Atlantic seaboards from the in- 
terior and the Algerian frontier, and shuts off coastal 
Morocco from the much-debated lands of the Tuat, 
which France now claims the right to administrate, and 
from the caravan route to the South, which France 
wants to control and direct into Algeria. It that 
natural boundary could be accepted by the two 
Powers as dividing their spheres of influence, Morocco 
might well be saved by intervention upon both sides 
of the Atlas, our fairway to our Eastern possessions 
might be safe-guarded, and, at the same time, French 
aspirations in the direction of North African ex- 
pansion and the proper protection of Algeria might 
be satisfied. In these circumstances the social and 
commercial development of an utterly neglected but 
very rich country would be assured, and a very 
present menace to the peace of Europe finally re- 
moved. Humanity and justice, as well as expediency, 
demand the formulation and application of some 
definite policy with regard to Morocco before the 
winter rains are over and the Pretender and the 
young Sultan come into conflict again. Surely, in the 
interests of our Empire, Britain should be well and 
speedily to the fore in this matter. 

But, when all is said, this is not at all the note by 
which I would have you remember my book of 


jottings from Sunset Land. I do not pretend that 
it is more than a book of jottings, and, indeed, I feel 
that I owe some apology for its inconsequent character. 
I cannot give you Morocco, or I would. I cannot 
hope to make you feel the wonderful fascination of the 
land ; but what I do hope I may have succeeded in 
doing is the presentation of suggestions. A passing 
hay-cart will suggest country meadows to you, on 
London Bridge. I would like to think that in this 
book, so full of faults and obvious shortcomings, I 
may have done so much for Morocco. It is still the 
land of romance. I, personally, am very grateful for 
that. It is the home, not of politics but of story; 
and so, before I buckle up my wallet, let me tell you 
the story of an Englishman I know and Achmet, Abd 
el Sadak. 



MY faithful friend and one-time servant, who was 
so fittingly named Achmet, Abd el Sadak 
(The Slave of the True), passed away peacefully in 
the ancient port of Salli, three days prior to my sail- 
ing from Morocco last month may Allah have fitted 
for him a most sumptuous pavilion in Paradise ! That 
event, releasing me as it did from promises, is what 
unlocks my lips regarding a certain notable change in 
my position in the world and way of living. 

I take no shame whatever in admitting that up 
till the year '95 my days were needy days, and m; 
life that of a plain gentleman-adventurer, possess< 
of little or no capital in this world beyond such as 
may be said to lie in ten active fingers, five tolerably 
alert senses, and a heart not over and above suscept- 
ible to the grip of fear. It is perfectly true that in 
the year '94 I was posted a defaulter in the hall of 
the Wayfarers' Club, owing to my inability to meet 
the annual demand for subscription, But the fortune 
of war is variable, and I am not aware that its buffet- 
ings are any disgrace to an otherwise clean-lived man. 
At all events, having said so much I have said all 
that I know of that need be said with reference to the 
shady side of my life's record and am unashamed. 

It was in the year 1887 (in these dates I refer, 
of course, to the Christian calendar and not to that 
of the Faithful) that I first met my trusty friend 



Achmet; and during the eight years of Eastern 
wanderings which followed he was my constant and 
most loyal attendant in rain and sunshine, in good 
fortune and in bad. I paid for a sheep (an attenuated 
beast it was, too, if I remember aright) for the feast 
of his thirty-seventh birthday on the morning of our 
first meeting; and he paid for my venturesomeness 
in his blood upon more than one subsequent occasion. 
It was during the morning of All Fools' Day, in 
the year '97, that I carelessly put to Achmet the 
question out of his answer to which came the greatest 
adventure of my life and his. TKe sun having gained 
something near to his full strength we had just 
} descended from the flaky old pink roof of my house 
I beside Bab el Jeed (the Gate of the Hanging) in the 
I port of Salli, to the central court or patio, in which, 
i with my books, and my dogs, and my cheery little 
; marble fountain, I purposed passing the heat of the 
day. I will here admit that I refer with some vanity 
to this small abode of mine, by token that, so far as I 
it have been able to ascertain, I am the only infidel-born 
{j man who has been permitted to take up his residence 
I within the walls of Salli, the old Moorish pirate 
I stronghold, at all events during the past thirty or 
: forty years. The house I purchased from Achmet's 
creditors shortly after that thirty-seventh birthday of 
his, when the roof that had sheltered himself and his 
buccaneering fathers before him seemed likely to be 
lost to him for ever. I need scarcely say that the 
good man never found the door of his old home shut 
to him after I obtained possession. It was there he 
died, in the best room, with a goodly circle of f keehs 
and holy men about his head, last month. 

But with regard to my question : It was an idle 


one enough, as has been said, and one I had never 
troubled to put during eight long years of vaga- 
bondage here and there in my Moorish friend's com- 
pany, though the subject of it had dangled before my 
eyes just so often as they had chanced to rest upon 
Achmet's wiry form. 

' ' Good m'koddem," said I, as I rolled a cigarette 
(he always liked to be addressed and thought of as 
my steward or man of affairs, though Heaven knows 
my affairs stood in small need of a comptroller), 
1 'what might the little locket be that you wear so 
constantly about your neck ? Does it by chance hold 
a scrap of some ancient Kiswat, or a charm against 
the Evil Eye, from which Allah preserve all 
Believers ! " The Kiswat, you know, is the annually- 
renewed curtain that is hung about the Ka'abah at 
Mecca; a very holy fabric, strips from which are 
more soothing to the fortunate possessor, because 
more authentic, than the most of Christian relics. 

"Nay, Sidi " the good man always called me 
" Master" though he never drew wage from me 
" 'tis no charm at all, if as they say a true charm must 
needs come from a holy man or one greatly learned. 
Natheless I would not readily part with it, Sidi, for 
my father wore it before me, and laid it in my hand 
but a few minutes before he departed may God have 
forgiven him!" (This formal ejaculation by no 
means implies any reflection upon the departed.) 
" And as for how he came by it, Sidi, that is quite a 
story, and an odd one to boot ; yet it was from no 
great fkeeh or shareef either, but from a poor suffer- 
ing cilj who was within an hour of his last gasp upon 

Good Achmet loosed the little amulet from his 


neck and gave it me to handle at my leisure. I was 
a little surprised to find that it appeared to be of pure 
gold, and to be decorated upon one side with "two 
guns," as Moors say : that is, with the pillars of the 
arms of Spain, as one sees them upon a dollar. The 
obverse side was unrelieved, and the thing did not 
appear to open in any way. Being fresh from a 
journey and wallowing in idleness, I pressed Achmet 
for the story, and this, as I remember it, was what he 
told me. 

" B'ism Illah ! These things happened, Sidi, in the 
year 1246" (1828 A.D.), " when my father may God 
have forgiven him ! was no more than a slip of a boy, 
who might look unveiled women in the face without 
shame. His father was Khaleefah of this our city of 
Salli, under Basha Abd el Kareem, a land-loving 
gentleman who never went aboard a korsan " (pirate 
vessel) "in his life, and in that was unlike to most 
other men of good family in Salli. Yet withal he had 
his dealings with the pirates, and, as I am told, built 
this very house with money so made. At all events 
he was no enemy, but rather a friend to the best of 
those who plied that gallant craft. But yet he was 
Khaleefah, and so must needs obey the mandates of 
his Basha, and through him the word of their Lord the 
Sultan, Moulai Abd er- Rahman upon him the 
peace ! Now you, Sidi, who are learned in books, 
will know that the Sultan Moulai Abd er- Rahman 
obtained the repute of being the first ruler who suc- 
ceeded in putting an end to this same profession of 
piracy which had for so long been held in high esteem 
in Morocco. Yet, as En-Nasiri, the learned historian, 
has written in his book for all men to read " (see 
Kitdb el Istiksa fi Akhbdr Daul el Maghrib. Cairo, 


1895. Sid En-Nasiri died in his native town of 
Salli but one month before this conversation took 
place), "it was by the order of our Lord Moulai Abd 
er-Rahman, and not for their own good pleasure, that 
brave pirates captured those Austrian vessels in the 
very year of which I speak, and thus led to the 
Austrian attempt, which Allah defeated, to bombard 
El Araish. But it mtist natheless be admitted that, for 
good purposes of his own, the Sultan chose to obtain 
the repute of one who sought to suppress piracy, and 
to this end it was needful that he should deal out 
pains and penalties publicly. 

" Now the Sultan, being of the sacred blood, was 
not minded to inflict suffering upon good Muslims and 
sons of his own people. Yet an example had to be 
made, and so our Lord's wise choice fell upon one 
Absalaam, an English renegade whose infidel name 
I know not. This afflicted one had risen to some 
power and rank among the pirates, being without 
doubt a most cunning sailor, and withal a brave man. 
For years he had captained his own korsan, and men 
said that he had wrested greater wealth from the sea- 
going infidels than had all the others of his craft 
together. Be that as it may, the order reached my 
grandfather that Absalaam should first be forced to 
yield up whatever treasure he might possess, and 
then be publicly hanged at the city gate, word thereof 
being sent to sundry European Bashadors " that is r 
ministers or ambassadors "that they might witness 
the execution, or at least know of it, and so be 
satisfied that our Noble Lord was in very truth 
stamping out the trade. 

" Now, accordingly, my grandfather put the 
question in various ways, as the custom is, with a 


view to obeying his Lord and obtaining Absalaam's 
treasure before he should be hanged. But it seemed 
the renegade was a hard man, and not to be moved to 
speech by any ordinary application, such as the rod, 
the thumb-screw, or heated irons. So, having chosen 
the hook above the gate yonder, from which the 
wretch was ultimately to hang, my grandfather had 
Absalaam suspended there by his great toes and left 
awhile to meditate with a view to confession. As you 
know, the gate hath ever since been called the Gate 
of the Hanging. My father told me that he, being a 
gentle-natured lad, and noting that the sun shone 
very hotly upon the gate, felt sad for the renegade 
hanging there by his great toes. And so, when other 
folk slept, during the 'hour of fire,' he crept out of 
the patio here with a cup of good cool water under his 
djellab, and so to the gate to moisten hanging 
Absalaam's lips, over which blood and dust were 
sorely caked. Even the guards were sleeping, and no 
man stayed my father's hand from an act which was 
doubtless pleasing to Allah. Seeing his kindly intent, 
poor Absalaam gasped out, ' Put thy hand to my 
mouth, good lad, and God shall reward thee ! ' So my 
father put forth his hand, and out of the hanging 
wretch's swollen mouth there fell this same little 
lump of gold which thou hast seen upon my neck, 
where it hath hung since the day on which my father 
died upon him the peace ! ' Thrust it in thy purse, 
lad ; give me of thy water and I will tell thee ' 
And that was as far as the poor fellow got with his 
thanks, for at that moment my grandfather, the 
Khaleefah, whose eyes were wondrous keen in affairs, 
appeared at the gate and saw the cup in my father's 
hand. ' Nay,' cried my father, aloud, fearing 


punishment, * I did but take a little charm from the 
poor man, that he gave me from his mouth/ My 
grandfather stared at this. ' What hast thou in thy 
mouth, man ? ' says he to Absalaam. ' 'Tis but a 
single jewel that I thought to hide, Lord/ gasped 
Absalaam. ' Thrust thy finger in my mouth, Lord, 
and take it ; 'tis thine. I cannot loose it.' So grand- 
father thrust his finger into the wretch's mouth, and 
Absalaam bit it through, ay, and well into the bone, 
and choked and gasped and tried to laugh, when my 
poor grandfather leaped back with a cry. By the 
Prophet, he must have been a man of iron, that 
renegade ! My grandfather had his eyes put out and 
his hands and feet slit open that afternoon, by way of 
rebuke ; and the renegade, biding silent still, was 
hanged outright at sunset, and left over the gate to 
bleach and for Nazarenes to see. 

" * Fling his accursed charm into the sea, my son/ 
said the Khaleefah to my father. And ' Ihyeh/ 
quoth my father, as in duty bound, but flung a 
pebble instead, and so kept this poor little charm, if 
charm it be, till the day of his death, when piracy as 
a profession had almost passed out of the minds of 


And so I had the history of the little amulet, and 
good Achmet left me, idly tossing it in my hand, to 
sally out into the Sok and do our modest day's 
marketing. I sat there alone, drowsily thinking of 
Salli rover lore, and of the gentle Lord Abd er- 
Rahman, who pulled out the tongue of his wazeer, Si 
Mohammed bin Drees, for having communicated with 
the Algerian rebel, Abd el Kader. I thought of the 
renegade Absalaam, mine own countryman, who had 
ended his life in so parlous a state over the gate which 


stood no more than a few yards from where I sat. 
Colonel Keatings, in his account of a British embassy 
in 1785 (Travels in Europe and Africa. London, 
1816), said that an English renegade built the great 
aqueduct that brought water to my door there in 
Salli, from Ismir, ten miles distant. The gallant 
Colonel was misinformed, I thought, but there was 
every reason to believe that the task of repairing it 
was entrusted to an English renegade. I wondered 
idly if the unfortunate Absalaam had any hand in 
that. Again I examined the gold amulet, and 
wondered that a thing made in the shape of a locket 
should have no opening in it. And then I fell 
asleep. The April sun is hot in Salli town. 

Half an hour later I awoke, and my eyes fell upon 
my sloghi bitch, Jinny, where she lay stretched beside 
the fountain, nosing at some small object between her 
front paws. " What have you got there, Jinny ? " 
said I, lazily. At the sound of my voice the" bitch 
rose, stretched her sinewy frame to its full length, and 
walked slowly to my side. Then I saw that the toy 
of her idleness was Achmet's gold amulet, which lay 
there now, on the flags, an open locket, and showing 
what appeared to be a folded parchment inside it. 

"Like my carelessness!" I muttered, as I leaned 
forward to recover the amulet. " But I wonder how 
in the world the bitch found a way of opening the 
thing ! " Examination showed me that the locket was 
most delicately contrived, its spring and hinge being 
both hidden by a sort of rolled border or beading, 
which also hid effectually the line of division between 
the two halves. Achmet had told me that it did not 
open, or at least that he had never tried to open it, 
having always thought of it as being solid. So here, 


I thought, as I carefully unrolled the little slip of 
parchment, is a document of at least seventy years 
ago, that was carefully preserved in the mouth of a 
dying renegade. I chuckled over my find. " This is 
history," I told myself. " State secrets, no doubt; 
pirate lore treasure- trove." 

And with that I stopped chuckling, and a sudden 
hot eagerness came over me to know what the parch- 
ment might contain. I can hardly tell you what I 
thought, but I became serious and eager. I re- 
member a jumble of passing ideas about cryptograms, 
cyphers, and acrostics tripping one over the other in 
my mind ; and then I had the little parchment spread 
fairly upon my knee. One side of it was raggedly 
torn, as it might be that the whole had proved too 
bulky for its hiding-place. The rest bore this 
message, written fairly enough, in the old style of 
sloping caligraphy, with long " S's," and some quaint- 
ness of spelling, and some incorrectness, but nothing 
in the least degree cryptic. It might have been the 
casual memorandum of a man of business. 

"No. 2. Ismir aqueduct. Three lanyards south, 
two and half east under furthest edge sacred shadow 
five spans. ABSALAAM." 

And that was absolutely all. 

I was still poring over the simple words written so 
fairly, and in my own tongue, when Achmet returned 
from the S6k, and stood a moment dumbfoundered 
at the sight of his little charm lying split in sunder as 
it appeared on the stool beside me. I explained the 
discovery which Jinny had made, and showed Achmet 
the ragged little bit of parchment. At first sight oi 


the parchment I noted a sudden glitter in the eyes 
of my friend. When he asked me to translate its 
message to him there came for one instant an ex- 
pression in those eyes which I had never seen before. 
He confessed it later, with an approach to tears. For 
one fleeting moment his heart harboured suspicion 
and resentment where his infidel friend was con- 
cerned ; the attributes which a notable Nazarene, 
Cardinal Newman to wit, has told us do not pertain to 
the man who deserves the name of gentleman. But 
his peculiar knowledge of the circumstances made him 
see farther into the matter than I could upon short 
notice ; and, in any case, his suspicion was not more 
than momentary. 

" And what think you that it may mean, friend ? " 
I asked, when, for privacy, we had retired to an upper 
room and spread the little parchment upon a stool 
between us. 

Achmet turned his two hands palms uppermost. 
" Sidi," said he, " there is no room here for a man to 
hazard guesses or cherish doubts. I ask thee, Sidi, 
for what was the renegade seized in the first 
place ? " 

"Why, because he was a successful pirate and 
piracy was to be put down if I have understood your 
story rightly." 

" It is most right, Sidi. And for why was my 
grandfather may God have pardoned him ! obliged 
to hang this same renegade at first by his great toes, 
instead of by his neck, as the custom is in such 
matters ? " 

" Ah ! His hidden treasure ? " 

" Ihyeh ! And being stripped of all that men 
could see belonging to him, even to his littlest gar- 


ment, and hung by his toes before the city gate, what 
one thing did this renegade cherish ay, almost to the 
hour of his end, yielding it up only when certain and 
speedy death faced him, and then to a lad whom he 
wished to thank one whom he saw coming to allevi- 
ate some small portion of his pains ? " 

" True, true," I admitted in some excitement at 
finding my own eager thoughts exactly borne out by 
one to whom the circumstances were all known. 
11 And to think that for seventy years, or close on, it 
has lain on thy neck, and thy father's before thee, and 
never a thought given to its value, nor even to 
whether it opened or no ! " 

" Ihyeh, Sidi, we are but slaves of the All-know- 
ing; slaves and little children in His hand. Dost 
remember when thy good grey mule fell lame on that 
ill-starred journey to Taradunt, Sidi ? " I nodded. 
" Ihyeh, well, I did not tell thee, for we had troubles 
enough and to spare, but the night before I had lost 
this same little treasure-chamber which thou hast 
opened lost it most fatally. Indeed, and it was then 
when I noted the good mule growing lamer at every 
step, that I first began to think seriously of the virtu< 
which may have lain in my lost charm." 

"H'm! Little thinking what really lay in it," I 

" Little thinking, as thou sayest, Sidi. Yet had 
some good Djinn a care of my fingers I think, for at 
first blink of light next day I did come upon my little 
amulet, and where, think ye, but in the bottom of the 
basket in which I had given thy good grey mule her 
barley. The poor beast having sickened, as we had 
cause to know, thou and I, the half of her feed was 
left, and as I ran my fingers through it, seeking to 


tempt her 'Aha! A stone/ says I. And lo, there 
was my little amulet among the barley." 

"So a mule came near to eating it that day, O 
Achmet, and to-day the bitch there came nearer still 
to destroying the treasure in it." 

"Ihyeh, the master-works of Allah!" ejaculated 
my friend with pious fervour. And then we fell to 
discussing the document before us. Round and 
about it we cast our suggestions and hints, some 
foolish and some shrewd, all sanguine, and a few 
that were directly to the point. At length, mere 
discussion proving unsatisfactory to me, I rose and 
moved to the doorway, Achmet following. 

" See, my friend," said I, " this house hath 
become too small for me. How say you ? " 

" Sidi, its smallness hath cramped me sorely 
these several minutes now. But " 

"Ay, my tent, good Achmet ; the mules, a little 
food, the guns, and some few tools such as farmers 
use ; my tent pitched, let us say near the end of the 
great aqueduct at Ismir, before the sun goeth down 
this night will not that give us more of room and 
peace ? " 

"Sidi, thy mind moves swiftly. Ismir? Ihyeh ! 
All shall be as thou sayest. Look for me, Sidi, with 
all things prepared in one hour." 

It was as though an Englishman were to say 
" In a couple of minutes," and if achieved in Morocco 
would be little short of a miracle. But, seeing the 
light in Achmet's eyes, I had faith (which the event 
justified) and waited. Within an hour we were 
perched atop of bulging shwarries borne by two quick- 
stepping pack-mules which I had bought in Fez and 
valued highly, and before sunset we were eating our 


evening meal at the mouth of my tent, our mules 
tethered beside us, and the end of the great aqueduct, 
which Moors say the Romans built, no more than a 
few hundred paces distant from us. We both knew 
by heart now the words upon our parchment, and so, 
whilst discussing it, had no need to refer to the 
document itself. 

" No. 2. Ismir aqueduct. Three lanyards south, 
two and half east under furthest edge sacred shadow 
five spans. ABSALAAM." 

" No. 2" referred to the object of our search, the 
treasure, or whatever it might be; so much seemed 
clear to me, and at that time I had no thought to 
spare for what No. i might be. The more I thought 
upon the few simple words of the parchment, the 
more convinced I became that it contained no inten- 
tional mystification, but was simply a memorandum 
made for the convenience of the writer, and as a safe- 
guard against any trick of memory. " Ismir 
aqueduct " I took to point plainly to the end of the 
aqueduct, its starting-point here at Ismir. From that 
end, I thought, one must proceed " three lanyards 
south " and " two and half east," and there find a spot 
marked by a "sacred shadow." The reference to 
a shadow was so far puzzling, but I thought there 
would be time enough to deal with that when we had 
discovered the spot referred to. My immediate con- 
cern was to know what " lanyards " might mean. 
And here, of course, my friend Achmet could be of 
no service to me. For all his knowledge of the 
circumstances he was quite helpless where our 
document was concerned, knowing no word of the 
tongue in which it was written. 

The only kind of " lanyard" within my ken was 


the sort of necklace of white cord which sailors wear 
about their necks bearing a knife or whistle. I have 
since learned that there are scores of different sorts 
of lanyards, but all I knew then was that as an infant 
I had gone clad as a man-o'-war's man in little, and 
had grandiloquently called the cord about my then 
innocent neck a lanyard. Then the length of a 
lanyard, I assumed, was from one to two feet. 
"Three lanyards south, two and a half east" say 
five feet one way and four another. Heavens! We 
were probably standing on the very spot ! 

Within a very few moments Achmet and myself 
were at work with mattock and bar, as busy as terriers 
in a warren. The ground was fairly soft there, and 
we soon had a trench of twice five spans in depth, 
and never so much as a piece of scrap iron for our 
pains. Nothing, absolutely, but sandy earth ; and 
when dark fell we climbed out of our pit in despair, 
and made tea to aid reflection withal. I was con- 
vinced by this time that we had failed to grasp the 
true meaning of our parchment. The " lanyards," 
that was the point that baffled me. 

An hour passed while we discussed this obscure 
point of the " lanyards," and that found us no nearer, 
by all appearances, to any solution of the difficulty. 
It was disturbing, exasperating, to feel that the 
treasure, or whatever it was that this simple message 
referred to, might be lying within a few yards of 
where we sat, and yet so hopelessly out of our reach. 
I said as much. 

"Ihyeh," sighed Achmet, "this is sure enough 
the place, and here sit we, idle, within a half a 
tasabeeh, it may be, of great wealth." 

Had he threatened my life the good Moor had 


certainly startled me less than he did in uttering these 
few words. I sprang to my feet, breathless. 

" A half a tasabeeh, sayest thou ? " I hissed at him. 
" Nay, but three south and two and a half east. 
Come ! Mark thou the tasabeeh ! " 

Illumination came to Achmet in a flash, as it 
should have come to me, an Englishman, in the 
beginning. A tasabeeh is a Moorish rosary. 
Nothing is more common than the measuring of 
distances by the time occupied in pacing them, 
reckoned by the fingering of a rosary. It is a matter 
of every-day colloquial speech. And what more 
natural than that the renegade, a sailor probably, 
should call a rosary a lanyard when writing of it in 
English ? It should have been plain for a child to 
read, I thought. 

Placing our backs against the first buttress of the 
aqueduct, we referred to my pocket compass and 
headed due south. Slowly and evenly, then, we paced 
along in the light of a rising moon, Achmet muttering 
below breath as he fingered each bead of his biscuit- 
coloured rosary. This was his part. I would not 
trust myself to reckon, lest the fact that I was un- 
familiar with the use of the pious instrument should 
lead to a miscalculation. 

"Halt!" cried my friend at length. We had 
covered " three lanyards" to the southward. And 
now we turned slowly, my eyes glued to the compass, 
until we headed due east. Then forward again, 
Achmet muttering and fingering devoutly. 

"Halt!" he cried again; and I found we had 
reached a little hill, upon which a few stunted olives 
stood among a wilderness of palmetto and aloe scrub. 
My eyes had never left the compass, and the ground 


being open, I was convinced we must have come 
tolerably straightly in our course. I cut off the spear 
head of an aloe and stuck it in the earth at my feet. 
Then we proceeded to examine our surroundings. 

"Now, friend," said I, "we seek a shadow a 
1 sacred shadow.' What is there within sight that could 
be sacred ? " 

"Nay," said Achmet, "here are no mosques nor 
shrines, nor But stay ! Unless my memory plays 
me very false I have not been here since I was a 
lad there is an old tomb in the hollow there, between 
this little hill and the next. 'Tis not to say a shrine, 
exactly, but yet it is a tomb, and Si Abd el Haneen, 
who lies there may God have pardoned him ! was 
doubtless a holy man enough. Ihyeh, methinks the 
tomb might be called sacred like enough." 

By this time we were striding down the little hill's 
side ; and I promise you we paid little heed to the 
razor edges of palmetto leaves, though, being in 
Moorish dress, I was bare-legged, like Achmet, and 
wore only heel-less slippers on my naked feet. 

Three minutes brought us to the crumbling wall 
of an old tomb, half hidden in prickly-pear and 
palmetto. But upon one side of the tomb the ground 
was bare of scrub, and there the grass showed plainly 
just how far the shadow of the tomb's dome was wont 
to fall by day. In a country where shade is as scarce 
as it is in El Moghreb, earth and vegetation show 
very clearly their appreciation of a shadow where it 
does occur. 

" Here, then," said I, stooping over the line of 
fresh grass, "is the 'furthest edge sacred shadow/ 
Now, regarding the ' five spans' But, Lord ! What 
are five spans ? It must mean five spans deep, or five 


spans distant from this edge of the shadow. And in 
either case it is but a matter of a little digging. Ah ! 
what fools we were to have left our mattocks 
behind ! " 

One hour later found us cautiously stepping out 
from our tent into the moonlight, carrying our guns 
openly, as Moors are wont to carry them, and hunch- 
ing under our djellabs two mattocks and the crowbar 
that we kept for tent-pitching. Spades you shall noj 
firfd in the Land of the Setting Sun, a circumstance I 
had cause to regret before the night was out, for in 
my opinion the mattock is a poor, futile sort of a tool, 
in my hands at all events. But I promise you the 
arms which directed those mattocks were active and 
vigorous enough. Never did serf or hired labourer 
delve as we delved beside old Abd el Haneen's tomb 
in the light of the moon that night. The great 
Moulai Ismail of pious memory was wont occasionally 
to roast a few of his workpeople in lime-kilns, throw 
them to hjs lions, or crush them under a falling wall 
if he fancied they did not put sufficient zest into their 
labours. But I greatly doubt if the most fearful 
among them could have equalled our industry. 

At a depth of seven spans we had found nothing. 
So we began to dig outward, and away from the tomb. 
Half an hour passed, and the sweat I shook from my 
head, as a spaniel shakes water, splashed upon the 
broken earth at my feet. At my very next stroke 
the mattock rang on metal and jarred my wrist 
horribly. Little I cared. I dropped the tool and 
fell on my knees, scratching with both hands to feel 
for what I had struck. So far as I could force my 
fingers down they felt a smooth surface of metal, as 
of a coffer or case of some sort. 



" El hamdu Illah!" I exclaimed with fervent 
piety, or emotion of some sort. And then the words 
turned to ashes in my mouth, my stomach retched 
within me, and the blood ceased to travel through my 
veins as a thin, strange voice above me cried, 
<{ Ihyeh, God be merciful sacrilege! Eh, eh!" 

It seemed to me that I got out of that hole as 
quickly as mortal man might ; but Achmet, who had 
not been kneeling, but only stooping, surpassed me. 
His agility was really suggestive of magic. You 
have my solemn word for it that, swiftly as I reached 
the surface, I found that a tragedy had been enacted, 
was ended and done with, and all in the moment 
which I seemed to occupy in scrambling from out 
that fateful hole. Achmet had felled a man to earth 
with his mattock, and then, literally, pinned him to the 
earth with an eighteen-inch dagger, but very slightly 
curved. The fallen man was dead as Noah, and I 
perceived, with an odd sort of sentimental regret, that 
his hair was white and his face a gentle one. 

" God forgive us, Achmet ! " I murmured, without 
much relevance. "He seems a kindly-looking sort 
of grandfather, too ! " 

"Yeh; he's well enough/' admitted Achmet, 
wiping his knife on the grass. " But there was no 
place here for him. 'Tis poor fortune his visit to 
this shrine has brought him may God give him 
peace ! " 

I thought Achmet's attitude both modest and 
dignified ; and I think still that he was as agreeable a 
gentleman to be killed by as you would find in a 
day's march. But we are not all just prepared to die, 
even at the hands of such an one as Achmet ; and so 
I told myself there should be no more killing in this 


affair of ours if I could help it. I would liefer share 
our secret with another, I thought, than have the 
whole matter darkened by the stains of blood. But 
I recognised the reasonableness of Achmet's reminder 
that our work awaited us ; so, turning from the old 
gentleman and his dead, kindly face, we scrambled 
back into our hole. 

In less than ten minutes we had entirely un- 
covered an iron chest with a heavy hasp and bolt in 
the middle of its lid. It struck me that in Gibraltar I 
had seen heavy old shot lying in just such another 
coffer as this one. Many broken thoughts struck me, 
and I swore nervously when Achmet's forehead 
struck mine as we both stooped to raise the lid. It 
was a well-made box, and in the seventy, or eighty, 
or ninety years of its rest there under the earth, no 
sort of harm had come to it. The lid creaked and 
groaned a little in the lifting, but yet answered its 
purpose well enough, and then we saw the treasure 
of Absalaam the renegade which Sultan Abd er- 
Rahman had failed to see ; the key to which renegade 
Absalaam had held in his poor, swollen, bloody mouth 
what time he hung by the toes roasting in the noon- 
day sun outside the gate of Salli town. 

There was a division down the centre of the 
chest, and upon one side we saw nothing but gold ; 
upon the other, nothing but jewels. A sight it was 
for a money-loving man to dream of; and I will 
admit that for a moment or two it made me drunk, so 
that I laved my arms to the elbow in guineas upon 
which the moonlight showed me glimpses of the head 
of George III. and again of a Spanish Queen, and 
again of an eagle, and of other devices, most of which 
were unfamiliar to me. 


But we had no time to spare for dreaming. My 
drunkenness passed in a moment ; and even at that 
showed me a poorer creature in dignity than my friend 
Achmet. Not all the jewels of India could have un- 
balanced the Moor. 

"We can never carry this," said he, as he might 
have spoken of a sack of barley. This was the very 
bracing sort of tonic that I needed. " Why, no," 
said I. "Go you back to the tents, good Achmet 
wings at your heels and bring hither the mules with 

He looked at me. " Ihyeh ; and I take care of 
the old gentleman above. Go ! " At that he turned 
and sped off into the night. The moon was already 
low, and everything about the old tomb was very dim, 
and ghostly, and shadowy now. But Achmet's nerve 
and common sense had braced me finely. I dragged 
the body of the poor old man into the hole that we 
had first dug, and I gave him the benefit of the only 
Mohammedan prayer I could recall at the moment 
before I proceeded to shovel the earth over him. 
For some time I tugged at the iron coffer, thinking to 
have all things prepared for Achmet's return ; but 
though I shifted its position somewhat I could not 
raise it, and so presently gave up the attempt and sat 
down upon its lid to await the coming of my partner. 
It was not easy to be calm, and I longed for work for 
my two hands ; their itching fingers gave me no rest, 
and my mind refused to think connectedly of anything 
beyond the immediate hour. 

At length Achmet arrived with the mules after 

making a considerable dttour to avoid the road and the 

possible attention of some late wayfarer. One mule 

we loaded with gold, in coins and in beaten, shapeless 



lumps, the whole of which we tied securely in my 
great tent-bag, that thoughtful Achmet had flung into 
one of the shwarries before returning to me. Then, 
together, we tackled the chest itself, and without 
much difficulty dragged it out from the hole. The 
hole we filled as well as we could, stamping down the 
earth and covering all with great armfuls of palmetto 
leaves and scrub. Then we swung the coffer upon 
the birda of the unladen mule, covered it with both our 
djellabs, and started off for the tent, each with a hand 
resting on one side of the iron chest. And behind us, 
doubtless resenting this midnight occupation, plodded 
the other mule, picking its own way through the night, 
undriven, led by no man, a hammer-headed pack- 
mule bearing in its eighteen-penny palmetto panniers 
a king's ransom in minted and beaten gold. 

A month later we both sailed for Hamburg. I, 
as a curio-monger, was taking with me quite a little 
collection of Moorish rugs and carpets, things which 
do not greatly interest the Customs officials. Yet 
between them please allow the words literal 
significance those Rabat rugs represented a fortune 
of not less than three hundred thousand pounds. 
" No. 2 " satisfied me, and I have never been much 
exercised in my mind as to what or where No. i 
might be. 
























2 5 












MARCH 1905 


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of which will be published together. Due notice will be given of succeeding issues. The orders 


of publication will be arranged to give as much variety of subject as possible, and the volume 
composing the complete works of an author will be issued at convenient intervals. 

These are the early Books, all of which are in the Press. 

VOL. i. The Tempest; The Two Gentlemen of Verona; The Merry Wives of Windsor; 
Measure for Measure ; The Comedy of Errors. 

VOL. ii. Much Ado About Nothing ; Love's Labour's Lost ; A Midsummer Nights' Dream ; 
The Merchant of Venice ; As You Like It. 

VOL. in. The Taming of the Shrew ; All's Well that Ends Well ; Twelfth Night ; The 

Winter's Tale. 


VOL. i. Sense and Sensibility. 

Vol. i. Essays and Counsels and the New Atlantis. 
THE WORKS OF BEN JOHNSON. In about 12 volumes. 

VOL. i. The Case is Altered ; Every Man in His Humour ; Every Man out of His Humour. 

VOL. i. Eikonoklastes and The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates. 

Vol. i. Reflections on the French Revolution 

Vol. ii. Speeches on America. 

Vol. I. Tom Jones. (Double Volume.) 

Vol. n. Amelia. (Double Volume. ) 

Vol. i. Miscellaneous Poems. 

Vol. ii. The Rowley Poems. 


In 7 volumes. 

The Notes have been revised by J. B. Bury, Litt.D. 

Vol. i. Tamburlane the Great ; The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. 

Vol. ii. The Jew of Malta: Edward the Second ; The Massacre at Paris; The Tragedy of 



Vol. i. By Izaak Walton. 

Vol. ii. Part 2, by Cotton, and Part 3 by Venables. 

Vol. i. Alastor ; The Daemon of the World ; The Revolt of Islam, etc. 

Vol. i. Religio Medici and Urn Burial. 

Vol. i. Paradise Lost. 

Vol. ii. Miscellaneous Poems and Paradise Regained. 

Vol. i. Utopia and Poems. 

ON HUMAN UNDERSTANDING. By John Locke. In 3 volumes. 
THE DIVINE COMEDY OF DANTE. The Italian Text edited by Paget Toynbee, M.A., D.Litt. 

(A Double Volume.) 

Westminster Commentaries, The 

General Editor, WALTER LOCK, D.D., Warden of Keble College, 

Dean Ireland's Professor of Exegesis in the University of Oxford. 
The object of each commentary is primarily exegetical, to interpret the author's 
meaning to the present generation. The editors will not deal, except very subpr- 
dinately, with questions of textual criticism or philology ; but, taking the English 


text in the Revised Version as their basis, they will try to combine a hearty accept- 
ance of critical principles with loyalty to the Catholic Faith. 
THE BOOK OF GENESIS. Edited with Introduction and Notes byS. R. Driver, D.D. Third 

Edition Demy 8vo. i&r. 6<f. 

THE BOOK OF JOB. Edited by E. C. S. Gibson. D.D. Second Edition. Dcmyf>vo. 6s. 
THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. Edited by R. B. Rackham, M.A. Demy %vo. Second and 

Cheaper Edition, los. 6d. 

Goudge, M.A. Demy Bvo. 6s. 
THE EPISTLE OF ST. JAMES. Edited with Introduction and Notes by R. J. Knowling, M.A. 

Demy Bvo. 6s. 


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A ROMANCE OF TWO WORLDS. Twenty-Fifth Edition. 

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THELMA. Thirty-First Edition. 


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WORMWOOD. Fourteenth. Edition. 

1 The tender reverence of the treatment and the imaginative beauty of the writing have 
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tive.' Dublin Review. 

THE SORROWS OF SATAN. Forty-Eighth Edition. 

'A very powerful piece of work. ... The conception is magnificent, and is likely 
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THE MASTER CHRISTIAN. [j6 s th Thousand. 

1 It cannot be denied that "The Master Christian" is a powerful book ; that it is one 
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1 It is impossible to read such a work as " Temporal Power " without becoming convinced 
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A CHANGE OF AIR. Sixth Edition. 

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A MAN OF MARK. Fifth Edition. 

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W. W. Jacobs' Novels 

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SEA URCHINS. Eleventh Edition. 

A MASTER OF CRAFT. Illustrated. Sixth Edition. 

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1 The best humorous book published for many a day.' Black and White. 
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WHEN VALMOND CAME TO PONTIAC : The Story of a Lost Napoleon. Fifth 

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THE BATTLE OF THE STRONG : a Romance of Two Kingdoms. Illustrated. Fourth 

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THE POMP OF THE LAVILETTES. Second Edition, y. 6,t. 

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A CHILD OF THE JAGO. Fourth Edition. 

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TO LONDON TOWN. Second Edition. 

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' Admirable. . . Delightful humorous relief ... a most artistic and satisfactory 
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THE HOLE IN THE WALL. Third Edition. 

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4 An absolute masterpiece, which any novelist might be proud to claim.' Graphic. 
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THE HUMAN BOY. With a Frontispiece. Fourth Edition. 

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SONS OF THE MORNING. Second Edition. 

' A book of strange power and fascination.' Morning Post. 
THE STRIKING HOURS. Second Edition. 

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THE RIVER. Third Edition. 

1 " The River" places Mr. Phillpotts in the front rank of living novelists. 'Punch. 
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1 Mr. Phillpotts's new book is a masterpiece which brings him indisputably into the front 
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' This great romance of the River Dart. The finest book Mr. Eden Phillpotts has written. 
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THE SECRET WOMAN. Second Edition. 


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GUAVAS THE TINNER. Illustrated. 

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RLADYS. Illustrated. Second Edition. 
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BYEWAYS. 3*. && 

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A WINTER'S TALE. A New Edition. 


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Adeline Sergeant. A GREAT LADY. 




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